Artists and art lovers gathered at Bartle Hall Hotel near Preston to see a TV celebrity open a new exhibition.
Matthew Wilcock, the winner of the BBC TV contest, The Great Pottery ThrowDown, was the special guest at the opening of the Preston Art Society annual show.
The exhibition had moved to its new out-of-town venue for the first time, but was such a success that the organisers hope it will be a permanent move.
Matthew, who teachers pottery at Giggleswick School, told the visitors that he was hugely impressed by the standard of work on display.
“There are paintings here by some very talented artists,” he said. “Perhaps next time there might be some potters’ work too.”
Nicola Haworth, who runs the hotel with husband Andrew, said that the opening had been a great success.
“We have never staged anything like this before, but the hotel seems the perfect setting to show off all the paintings,” she said.
Work was exhibited in the hotel’s grand entrance hall, the panelled lounge bar, up the stairs and along a first-floor corridor.
At the opening, Matthew Wilcock was re-united with his former art teacher at Broughton High Schjool, Ceris Jones.
“He’s a cherub,” said Ceris. “We have kept in touch since he left school and he has always been very supportive of the community of artists in and around Preston.”
The exhibition runs until March 24 and is open weekdays (except Friday, March 18) from 10-4. A special coffee and cake deal will be available for visitors, along with afternoon teas.
“We are delighted to be exhibiting at Bartle Hall, and thrilled that Matthew could join us for the opening of our exhibition,” said Art Society chair, Pam Potter.
“The hotel is a perfect setting for us to show off our work, and visitors will be able to linger and enjoy it all the more because there’s plenty of free parking.”