Art Galleries to Visit Across the North this Summer
These are the galleries art aficionados need to know about
Laing Art Gallery
Laing Art Gallery was founded in 1901, with funds provided by Newcastle-based businessman Alexander Laing. Today it’s home to an internationally important collection of art – think British oil paintings, watercolours, ceramics, silver and glassware – and was a temporary home for the Lindisfarne Gospels last year. The gallery’s regularly changing exhibitions of historic, modern and contemporary art and events attract visitors from across the UK. Explore the Northern Spirit gallery on the ground floor where you’ll see work by Thomas Bewick, Ralph Hedley and John Martin, as well as Newcastle silver, glass and ceramics. There’s also a shop, café, learning space and the Marble Hall, showing artworks by Henry Moore and Turner Prize nominee Paul Noble. Upstairs is the 18th and 19th century display, where William Holman-Hunt’s pre-Raphaelite masterpiece Isabella and the Pot of Basil is on display. Don’t miss Essence of Nature: Pre-Raphaelites to British Impressionists, currently on display until 14th October, with artwork showing different approaches to depicting the natural world.
New Bridge Street, Newcastle NE1 8AG
0191 278 1611
Mary Ann Rogers
Northumberland-based artist Mary Ann Rogers paints vibrant watercolour paintings. Her studio is surrounded by the wild hills of Northumberland and a menagerie of birds – many of which are featured in her work. Her gallery in West Woodburn is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10am–4pm and on Sundays from 2pm–5pm. There you can see original artwork alongside a selection of prints, cards, throws and stationery. But her work is highly collectable, so you may have seen it exhibited in galleries throughout the UK.
West Woodburn, Hexham NE48 2SE
With two gallery and exhibition spaces and a gift shop with a relaxing seating area, Gallery Forty5 is a welcoming space. There are also six artists’ studios on site where you can be inspired by Sarah Farooqi’s landscapes, townscapes and illustrated maps, Diana FitzPatrick’s original prints and workshops, Fine Fettle Fibres’ wooly creations, handcrafted leather goods from Awl By Hand, Renira Barnes’ work inspired by wild and quiet places, and Helen Poremba’s textile art. There are always plenty of workshops to get involved in too. Don’t miss the stencilled tote bags workshop with Denise Howe on 1st July where you’ll use a range of stencils, appliqués and embellishments to decorate a natural cotton bag.
45 Main Street, Felton NE65 9PP
The English Decoratives Studio
The English Decoratives Studio is an exclusive design house in the North, specialising in bespoke hand-painted interiors, surfaces and art. Northumberland-based decorative artist Diane Marsland creates hand-painted murals, silks and wallpapers to add unique luxury to your home. She has worked with various clients over the years and her attention to detail when creating her commissions is impeccable. Think silk panels for drapes, wallpapers and cushions as well as wallhangings, bed throws and individual art pieces to display in your home, often inspired by travel, fashion and flowers. All Diane’s hand-painted pieces are bespoke which means no two pieces are ever the same, so you can be proud to have something unique to you. English Decoratives is a combination of the experience she has in design, producing, buying and decorating. Contact Diane for a private consultation, a price quote or for further information on a bespoke piece.
Rebecca Noelle Art Studio & Gallery
With a gallery in Kirkharle Courtyard, Rebecca was a semi-finalist on Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2022. Specialising in landscapes using oils, watercolour and a unique technique of mixed media on brown paper, she runs a warm, welcoming gallery in The Stone Barn for both clients and students. Rebecca also offers art classes and workshops for individuals and groups, onsite and off, as well as commissions for those seeking to capture lifelong memories, along with select collectibles, home furnishings, prints and original art work. Rebecca’s studio and gallery is open daily from 11am to 4pm.
The Stone Barn, No 5, Kirkharle Courtyard, Kirkharle NE19 2PE
In 2014, Amy, who dreamed of becoming a classically-trained portrait painter (and studied art in Florence), collapsed from a brain haemorrhage whilst working and living in Sardinia. At the age of just 20, she had a 50 percent chance of surviving. Now, she’s a celebrated artist and has her own gallery in Berwick. Amy has exhibited throughout the country including her first major exhibition, The Windows of the Soul Exhibition, displaying bird drawings symbolising her own personal experiences and challenges. All Amy’s illustrations are inspired by the Northumberland landscape and countryside that she loves. She paints and draws wildlife ranging from the sealife around the Farne Islands to the garden birds at home and sells her artwork in her gallery alongside ceramics including works from Brugge artist Elvira Genthof, pottery from Cornwall-based artist Michel Francois and a collection of organic and natural skincare and parfums.
27 Art House, Bridge Street, Berwick TD15 1ES
The Spanish Gallery
Bishop Auckland’s Spanish Gallery is the UK’s first gallery dedicated to the art, history and culture of Spain during the 16th and 17th centuries, and it was in the spotlight late last year for displaying Salvador Dalí’s Christ of St John of the Cross in the North East for the very first time. Co-founder of The Auckland Project Jonathan Ruffer and his team recently celebrated their 10th year of owning Auckland Castle – and the paintings in the castle (Francisco de Zurbarán’s series of Spanish masterpieces Jacob and His Twelve Sons, which have been there for for more than 250 years) were what inspired Jonathan to bring Spanish art to the town. Discover the UK’s largest collection of 16th- and 17th-century Spanish artworks outside London, including work by El Greco, Murillo and Velázquez, explore In the Blink of an Eye, an exhibition featuring curious facsimiles of great Spanish works of art, then get a real taste of Spain at the gallery’s tapas restaurant, El Castillo.
Market Place, Bishop Auckland DL14 7JF
Hartlepool Art Gallery
With exhibitions and an exciting programme of events throughout the year, this art gallery offers opportunities for both inspiration and learning. On display you’ll find contemporary and fine art, photography, crafts and iconic pieces from the permanent collection of Hartlepool Museum Service. Plus, there’s a great café and the gallery sells a variety of work by local design makers and artists in its shop. From 24th June don’t miss Jonny Hannah: Shipbuilders and Fisherfolk, a series of exhibitions by world-renowned illustrator Jonny Hannah. Crustaceans, ships and local legends will be brought to life through paintings, prints and cut-outs.
Church Square, Hartlepool TS24 7EQ
Ayrshire-born contemporary expressionist artist Alexander has lived in Newcastle for more than 35 years and is one of the UK’s most collectable contemporary artists. You’ll have seen his work displayed across the region, including the Angel sculpture at the Metrocentre in Gateshead – a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the Angel of the North. In his Newcastle gallery customers can browse paintings, drawings and prints (both figurative and landscape work) over three floors.
55–59 Grey Street, Newcastle NE1 6EF
0191 230 4440
Treeby & Bolton
This treasure trove of contemporary art, glasswork and unique bronzes, situated in the beautiful Lake District town of Keswick, comprises an art gallery with a difference. Their stunning and eclectic offering covers three floors; after you’ve spent an afternoon browsing you can head downstairs to their stylish café for a well-earned cuppa and a slice of homemade cake.
12 Lake Road, Keswick CA12 5BX
The Bowes Museum
This French-style public museum is the vision of Joséphine Bowes, and her husband John. Accomplished artist Joséphine became a patron of the arts and created this museum so the couple could share their love of art with the people of Teesdale, near John’s family home. Sadly neither of them lived to see their museum open to the public in 1892. Various creative workshops take place here throughout the year, with plenty suitable for children, and don’t miss Modern Makers – a new exhibition displaying a series of ornamental objects and textiles, shown alongside rarely seen and re-sited pieces inspired by various aspects of the museum itself (until 18th June). Every day until 31st August, you can take a spotlight tour of the exhibitions, collections or building.
Barnard Castle DL12 8NP
Gallagher & Turner
Established in 1990, Gallagher & Turner is a modern and contemporary art gallery and specialist picture framer which hosts a lively programme of selling exhibitions. The gallery hosts a changing rota of exhibitions featuring both well-known international artists and local, emerging artists. It also has a wide range of artwork for sale both at the gallery and online. Gallagher & Turner has exhibited and framed work by many highly-regarded artists, including David Hockney, Francis Bacon, Barbara Rae, Antony Gormley, and Elizabeth Blackadder. With over 60 years’ combined experience, it specialises in Modern British art, Japanese woodblock prints and work from mid-Century France and America. The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 11am to 5pm and Saturday from 11am to 4pm, and entry is free.
30 St Mary’s Place, Newcastle NE1 7PQ
0191 261 4465
Emma Boiston is a textile artist based in Northumberland. Using punch needle embroidery, Emma creates cushions with quirky designs inspired by symbols found in nature. Emma also uses naturally-dyed fabrics and needlework to create small one-off artworks inspired by the local landscape.
Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) connects art, people and ideas. Both a gallery and a museum, it commissions, collects and re-thinks modern and contemporary art. As the heart of the School of Arts & Creative Industries at Teesside University, it’s also dedicated to research and education. There’s a great café boasting homemade food too. This summer, don’t miss the new exhibition People Powered: Stories from the River Tees. In partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, it features an programme of events focusing on history and folk tales exploring how the River Tees has shaped the region.
Centre Square, Middlesbrough TS1 2AZ
Alan Reed Studio & Gallery
Northumberland-born artist Alan has developed his own distinctive painting style that is now instantly recognisable. His landscapes and cityscapes for sale in his Ponteland studio and gallery capture everything from the drama of city life to the beauty of our rural landscapes, and transport people to the place they love or person they hold dear. You can also commission Alan to create a painting of your favourite place, person or pet. Alan will welcome you with a coffee and visitors are free to browse without any obligation to make a purchase, and the studio’s ‘living room’ setting helps in choosing the best artwork for your home or office.
17 Cheviot View Ponteland, NE20 9BP
Situated beside Tweed Dock, small independently-owned gallery Dockside is filled with imaginative art including original paintings, prints, ceramics, jewellery and cards. The gallery walls are ever changing with artworks from regular and new artists being added. All artists on display are chosen from across the UK and abroad but affordability is key and they pride themselves on selling artwork that’s available to all. The Inspired by Berwick collection features artwork inspired by the gallery’s surroundings and the unusual In a Tiny House is an exhibition of 12th scale miniature artworks fit for the finest doll’s house.
84 Main Street, Tweedmouth TD15 2AA
With galleries in Yarm, Richmond, Brompton-on-Swale, Harrogate, York and Keswick, Stockton-born Lucy Pittaway is a celebrated and award-winning artist. In each of her galleries, including her Yarm outpost, you can expect a warm welcome from friendly and knowledgeable art consultants and can browse a range of Lucy’s artwork as well as a selection of gifts and merchandise. Lucy’s work is inspired by both memories and her surroundings, and many pieces feature her iconic sheep. Browse her homeware and stationery – perfect for gifts. Throughout the year, Lucy plans to continue bringing new galleries to high streets as well as to develop and diversify her collections to include thought-provoking pieces and themes.
61 High Street, Yarm TS15 9BH
This fine art gallery in Newcastle celebrates national and international artists and has original oil paintings, collectable limited editions and sculptures on display. With over 12 years’ experience guiding art lovers and investors, the team’s aim is to make art accessible to everyone. Currently on display is work from celebrated artist Mark Demsteader, Middlesbrough-born Lauren Baker, sculptor Sally Grant and painter Billy Childish, and all the work on display is for sale.
2 Jesmond Road West, Newcastle NE2 4PQ
0191 241 0442