A disused building in County Durham is being transformed into a new art gallery, exploring a key part of our industrial past, mining.
This autumn, work will begin to convert the former Old Bank Chambers Building at 45 Market Place, Bishop Auckland, into a space dedicated to showcasing paintings by former miners and the wider mining community, as well as other works depicting life underground.
The Mining Art Gallery, due to open in August 2017, is the idea of Gillian Wales and Dr Robert McManners OBE, founders of the Gemini Collection of Mining Art, in partnership with regional charity, the Auckland Castle Trust.
It follows the successful Pitmen and Prelates exhibition, curated by Gillian, Robert and the charitable Trust, which was recently displayed inside the former home of the Prince Bishops of Durham, Auckland Castle.
As well as providing a permanent home for the renowned Gemini Collection, which includes works by prominent local mining artists Tom McGuinness and Norman Cornish, amongst many others, the new Mining Art Gallery will also offer a wide range of opportunities to explore the history of mining and the impact it had, not just on those who worked there, but on the County Durham community as a whole.