Padiham’s growing art vibe
Padiham has a growing art vibe, and a growing reputation as a hub of artisan shops and art galleries opened by talented creatives and artists.
For a small market town it is home to several art galleries, including the Storm Art Gallery, recently opened by Burnley born artist, Stephen Ormerod, and the Picture House, opened by Heather Shenton.
Stephen has been working as an artist in the Burnley area for the last 24 years and really wants to share his passion for art with everyone, and as well as painting and running his gallery, Stephen mentors and support other developing local artists and enjoys passing on these experiences and techniques to others via weekly workshops and classes.
He works in a variety of materials these days but started his career using coloured pencils back in 1989.
Stephen said: “I’ve had the idea to create an artist’s hub for many years. It’s taken many forms from a studio in Burnley above Hays accountancy, a restaurant in Padiham with my artwork for sale and Art & Soul gallery which successfully traded for six years. Each one gave me a piece of the puzzle and allowed me to finally open Storm Art Gallery in April 2017.
“My vision was based around my own needs as an artist to have a space that’s affordable with all the facilities I need to sustain my own practice. This developed into a business which offers those same facilities to other artists allowing them to develop their own skills. In that respect this differs from a traditional gallery with the costs spread between the practitioners.
“Storm Art Gallery has three workshop facilities, ceramics run by Lauretta Rothery, Retro photo Padiham which is traditional photography and darkroom techniques ran by Chris McKie and my own drawing and painting classes in the main gallery twice a week.
“The latest event Painting Padiham which was a collaboration between Burnley Council, Picture House Gallery and Storm Art Gallery took place on May 13th. Heather Shenton the owner of Picture House and myself came up with the idea of a plain air painting competition in Padiham after I had done the Longridge competition the previous year, I though what a great idea to promote art in my own town. This event was very successful and we will defiantly do it again next year.
“I like to draw and paint a variety of subjects from industrial scenes to local landscapes. My favourite medium at the moment is oils which you can see me working on in the new gallery.
I hope that by collaboration with other art businesses and artists I can revitalise Padiham town centre into a vibrant destination to view local art through events exhibitions and new businesses in Padiham.”