A MAJOR exhibition capturing images of a town and its surrounding countryside through paintings and photographs is planned.

Silsden in Art will be staged next year, over the Easter weekend.

A committee – including members of Silsden Local History Group, the Friends of Silsden Town Hall, and local artists and photographers – has been set up to spearhead preparations for the event.

The initiative aims to bring together the work of painters from the past, such as acclaimed Silsden artists Augustus Spencer and Joseph West, with that produced by their modern-day counterparts.

Silsden arts supporter Colin Neville, who is curator of the Not Just Hockney website and a member of the event's organising committee, says: "The exhibition will illustrate how Silsden was portrayed by past artists – and how it is seen today.

"This makes a link from past to present, both celebrating the talents of years gone by and showcasing the creativity of local people now. It will also highlight how the town and its surrounding countryside have changed over time."

Now a twin-pronged appeal has been issued to the public.

The organisers would like to hear from anyone interested in having their own work displayed, and from people who may possess pieces by past artists.

Mr Neville says: "We welcome approaches from artists and photographers of all ages and abilities who would like to display their work at the exhibition and to be considered for inclusion in an accompanying Silsden in Art commemorative booklet.

"We also hope to hear from anyone who holds work by a past artist which depicts an identifiable Silsden scene. We are sure there are many works out there still to be re-discovered. Owners can be reassured that all safety and security considerations will be followed.

"The single criteria we have for both paintings and photographs is that they are recognisably and identifiably of Silsden places.

"People might appear in the scenes, but only in the context of working or participating in recognisable Silsden employment or community activity. For instance, we would not be interested in family or pet photographs, or landscape or nature scenes that could have been taken anywhere."

The exhibition will be held at Silsden Town Hall, between Friday, March 29, and Sunday, March 31.

Any funds raised through the event will go towards the upkeep of the community-run venue, in Kirkgate.

Mr Neville can be contacted by email at woodbine@blueyonder.co.uk.