Central Art Gallery

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Central Art Gallery is a real gem. Located above the library on Old Street in Ashton-under-Lyne, these beautiful gallery spaces were once the studio spaces for the George Hegginbottom Technical Arts College. Today the former studios play host to a varied programme of temporary exhibitions with artwork from regional artists.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 10am - 12.30pm, 1pm - 4pm
Thursday Closed
Saturday:10am - 1pm

Closed Sunday and Monday

Admission charges

Please check before visiting.

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
'Old baths' by Alan J. Thompson

Alan J. Thompson: Paintings and Drawings from Observation

  • 20 January — 7 April 2018 *on now

WHEN Alan J Thompson paints, each mark he makes is a direct response to the sensation of what is in front of him.

He works directly from observation and that is immediately evident in his exhibition which opens at Tameside Central Art Gallery on Saturday, January 20. Aptly called “Paintings and Drawings from Observation” it captures urban and rural views of the borough and beyond.

Another feature of Alan’s work is that he never uses more than seven colours in a painting. Each is done with oils applied directly from the tube on to a primed wooden panel.

Born in Hyde in 1940, Alan attended Manchester School of Art (then the regional college of art) in the late Fifties where he studied under fellow Hydonian Harry Rutherford. Alan continued to paint while teaching at various colleges and further education centres but gave up the profession in 1989 to focus solely on art.

Alan’s work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy and Royal Scottish Academy, as well as at numerous exhibitions in the North West.

Many of the paintings in the Tameside exhibition are being shown for the first time. They include views of familiar landmarks in Ashton and Hyde, landscapes of Mottram and Werneth Low, and scenes from other locations around Greater Manchester.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Stanley Lench picture

‘Icons: An Exhibition of Paintings by Stanley Lench’

  • 20 January — 7 April 2018 *on now

The extraordinary paintings of Stanley Lench are to be displayed at Ashton’s Central Art Gallery. Bold portraits of famous cultural icons reveal the artist’s talent for capturing star-studded personalities while also revealing the complex workings of a mind beset by mental illness.

Stanley Lench’s paintings mainly depict stars of stage and cinema. He worked with oil paints, gouache, inks and crayons to produce bright, kaleidoscopic compositions. His portraits are powerful statements that explore the often frail vanity of the rich and famous.

Stanley Lench was born in 1934 in Peckham, South London. His childhood was dogged by illness which resulted in much of his education, including his art, being self-taught.

In the 1950s he held exhibitions at the Beaux Art Gallery in London’s West End which were a critical and commercial success. Dame Edith Sitwell purchased three portraits he painted of her. Another portrait of actress Pola Negri was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and put on public display for 20 years.

After early success he began to experience bouts of depression, paranoia and feelings of rejection. A prolonged period of mental illness led to Stanley becoming a recluse for some years. He also spent periods in hospital and an exhibition of work he produced as a patient was held at the Institute of Psychiatry in 1974.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Central Art Gallery
Old Street




0161 342 2650

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.