Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border, visited the Castle Fine Art Gallery and Shop to hear an update on its operations and tour its new exhibition – and indeed to commission a drawing of his mother’s house.
The Castle Fine Art Gallery opened in August with the aim of selecting and showcasing regional artists through monthly exhibitions. Though Rory was unable to attend the opening, he tweeted his support for the gallery and was eager to visit at the earliest opportunity. Rory is a strong supporter of the arts in Cumbria and, in the past months, has visited and praised many such exhibitions, highlighting both their role in the community and their capacity to attract tourism.
As a consequence, Rory looked around the Castle Fine Art Gallery and Shop with a great deal of interest, asking Mark Hilsden, who guided him round, about business, visitor numbers and long term goals, and then commissioned Mark to draw his mother’s house. The current exhibition showcases some of Mark’s art and Mr Stewart expressed his appreciation for what he had seen, stopping to admire many pieces.
Commenting on his visit, Rory said: “I was delighted when the Castle Fine Art Gallery opened in Appleby and it was a very great pleasure to visit it for the first time. In addition to being impressed with what Mark and Phil have done with the place, I was very struck by the quality of the artwork displayed. We are lucky to have such a vibrant art scene in Penrith and The Border and I would very much recommend a visit to the Castle Fine Art Gallery to all of those who haven’t been.”