LEVEN Art Society had its annual exhibition at the Town Hall in Stokesley – its preview being the night before opening.

The great and good of Stokesley and the surrounding villages were out in full force to be the first to view the work of their local artists. The society opens its doors to artists of all levels, although there is a long waiting list, and Bob Baker, in his first year as exhibition secretary, was pleased with the diversity of work this year.

“I think the regular Saturday demos, where professional artists teach us composition techniques, has given us the courage to try out new techniques,” he said.

Artist Mike Corbyn agreed. “There is clear evidence of learning through tutorial experience,” he said. “There are some very good examples of the use of acrylics and watercolours, and range of subject matter.”

There are not just paintings to view, but cards to buy, sculptures to admire and noughts and crosses games made from driftwood to purchase, made by artist Ann Tucker, whose life-like photo-realism paintings of animals caused many favourable comments.

The whole effect is of colour, light and variety of style, and each painting is professionally displayed for best effect.

Jim Miller, chair of the society explained how the work is so varied because of the different backgrounds and interests of its members and, through workshops, they are introduced to different media, and therefore experiment. They had an interesting collagraph printing event this year, which is a versatile printing process in which a textured plate is inked up and put through a press. Different textures hold varying amounts of ink and print different tones.

“We also produce a calendar each year and visitors to the exhibitions vote for their favourite paintings, which go on the calendar,” he said. “We are also working with young people in the area, and invite them to the exhibition. We have completed a ceramic mural at the primary school working alongside the pupils there. I hope this year to interact with schools and youth clubs on engaging young people’s interest in art.”