"So what prompted you to open an art gallery?" I asked Adrian Gough, co-founder of Ulverston’s newest gallery, Art House, knowing how much work is involved.

"I was looking for a place to paint," he replied, "And when I saw this wonderful space I realised that it could also be a resource where local artists could exhibit and run workshops and courses."

I could see why he was delighted to rent this space, on the first floor of Lightburn House, Brogden Street, because it has a perfect view of the Hoad monument, and large windows that allow the light to stream in from both sides.

Adrian explained that he wanted the Art House to work in tandem with the local community, and that this had been reflected in the exhibitions held since the gallery opened in the summer of 2019.

"As well as showing the work of established painters like Christopher Stones, we want to provide a space for young and developing artists," he continued. "Our most recent exhibition, for example, was of the work of Wendy Steel, a self-taught painter inspired by the beauty of Cumbria. It’s been a great success."

Adrian shares his studio space with Lynne Warburton and photographer David Green.

All three have work for sale to members of the public, who are warmly invited to wander in, take a look at the work in progress, and talk to the artists if they wish.

"We wanted to welcome them into the messy end of things," said Adrian as I explored his drawings, paintings and prints, surrounded by sketches and artists’ materials.

Art House has received a warm reception, and we agreed this was because Ulverston is a town with a strong undercurrent of creativity.

When I asked him about plans for the future he told me that Art House was running a course on drawing and landscape in January and February and that Fireup Furness, a sculptural group, will be holding an exhibition here during Another Fine Fest. Plans are afoot to exhibit more work by school students and young adults, too.

Further information can be found on the Ulverston Art House Facebook page, and at ulverstonarthouse.com

The gallery and studios are open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Do drop in and meet the artists at work in this welcoming space.