The theme of this year's Salford Art Club Exhibition is The Changing Face of Salford, and its show by local artists perfectly sums of the state and the psyche of the city at the moment, as pictures of the old docks, back streets and backyards sit on the walls next to stark images of glitzy blocks at the Quays.
While the changing skyline is well depicted in the exhibition, there's also lots of trad old Salford pubs, canals and picnics. The life portraits bring the personal touch, headed by double exhibition award winner, Lynn Kirkley's `In Memory of Bill Lynch, My Grandad' where you can almost touch the emotions on the canvas.
A pen and ink picture of the old Pendleton Co-op building at Cromwell roundabout in Charlestown sums up the theme. The derelict Co-op, imaged by David Norris in pen and ink, is shown devoid of its surroundings with a For Sale sign slapped on its walls. It's a building of beauty left to rot, right next door to the base of New Deal for Communities which is pumping £53million into the area and appears blind to our past heritage.
Exhibitions like this will help to keep the memory alive of what Salford was like when the regeneration `experts' have finished knocking most of it down.
"The idea was that people would submit whatever they felt about the Changing Face of Salford theme so there's a whole range of styles and subjects but it's interesting that almost every picture has a story behind it" says Stephen Savory, the Salford Art Club Chairman who also has a piece in the exhibition showing the Gas Works on Liverpool Street, made famous in the song Dirty Old Town.
"There's a lot of physical and cultural changes going on at the moment, and there's a huge potential in Salford not just for visual arts but also for music and film" he adds "While the Art Club has members who have been with us for 40 years, there's lots of really talented new artists coming through which is terrific."
SALFORD ART CLUB EXHIBITION – the Changing Face of Salford runs until 21st February 2010 at Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Peel Park, M5 4WU. Most of the work is for sale.
Salford Art Club meets every Wednesday 7:30pm. New members welcome. For details see here.