A KEIGHLEY artist has received a bursary to create new work and stage her first solo exhibition.

Jess Kidd has been awarded the £1,000 Joan Day Bursary by the South Square Centre, in Thornton.

The prize is given annually to an emerging Yorkshire-based artist who works in paint.

Jess' work aims to capture the landscapes, urban environments and life around her hometown area.

Alice Withers, interim director of the South Square Centre, says: "Jess is a multi-disciplinary artist with a current focus on mixed media painting, exploring landscape in relation to cognitive behavioural therapy – which she uses to build confidence in her work and also as a creative process to challenge a negative sense of place in her hometown.

"The Joan Day Bursary is a way for South Square to support emerging artists to take a critical next step in their career. We’re really excited to work with Jess."

An exhibition of Jess' work will take place at the South Square Centre’s ground-floor gallery from Friday, June 2, to Saturday, July 1.

Jess said she was "absolutely delighted" to receive the bursary.

She added: "I love the atmosphere at South Square and how it brings the community together, so I am just so excited to have my first solo show there.

"To have recognition for my work and be supported in this way means the world to me."

The bursary panel was headed by Julia Calver, chair of Saltaire Inspired, and also comprised independent artists Shiraaz Ali and Nancy Stedman.

Julie said: "The bursary was really competitive, with plenty of excellent applications. The panel unanimously agreed that the quality of Jess’ work is very high and, at the start of her career, she is ready to take full advantage of this exciting opportunity."

The bursary was founded in 2006 in memory of Joan Day, a highly-skilled painter who lived and worked in the West Yorkshire region for much of her life.

Following Joan's death, her family had sold some of her paintings and wanted the funds to be used to honour her memory. A friend of the family had attended an art workshop at South Square and suggested the centre.

The bursary has so far helped 14 artists.

A spokesperson said: "It has been a vital form of funding for emerging artists and has enlivened the exhibition programme; South Square is grateful for being able to offer the opportunity."