PLANS are underway to stage a major exhibition in Silsden next year featuring paintings and photographs that provide compelling images of the small historic town and its surrounding countryside.

A planning committee has been launched by Silsden Local History Group and Friends of Silsden Town Hall, with a brief to bring together local painters of the past, such as the acclaimed Augustus Spencer and Joseph West, with artists and photographers of the present day.

Silsden in Art is planned to take place at Easter 2024 with organisers appealing to people to come forward with their own photographs, paintings or drawings - or even possibly a previously unseen work by an artist from the past.

“The exhibition will illustrate how Silsden was portrayed by past artists – and how it is seen today,” said Colin Neville, curator of the Not Just Hockney website and a member of the organising committee.

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

A twin-focused appeal is being issued for artwork old and new to come forward.

Mr Neville added: “We welcome approaches from artists and photographers of all ages and abilities from across the district and beyond 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 a work by a past artist which depicts an identifiable Silsden scene. We are sure there are many still to be re-discovered. Owners can be reassured that all safety and security considerations will be taken.”

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

Mr Neville said: “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.” There is no fee for exhibiting artworks at the show.

Silsden in Art is due to be held between Friday March 29 and March 31 at Silsden Town Hall. Funds raised by the exhibition will go towards the town hall which is a community-run venue. Colin Neville can be contacted by email at