ARTIST Gavin Mayhew hopes to stay streets ahead of his contemporaries with a new off-beat exhibition.
The painter took street and urban dance as the inspiration for his latest collection of work.
The former teacher at Thornhill School, in Sunderland, said the Agitate display, which took months to complete and was launched this week with a dance extravaganza, is his most exciting yet.
He said: “The street dancing group Bad Taste Cru kicked off the expo with a demo of their fantastic hip-hop dance style.
“They are the subject in a number of paintings and sketches in the exhibition, which is inspired by dance and movement.
“It has taken me months to put the exhibition together, but it was worth all the hard work.
“The launch was amazing and it went down really well.
“The dancing was unbelievable.
“I have exhibited worldwide and have previously been chosen to represent Durham in Germany and Crete in international art projects and I’ve also held a display in New York.
“But this is among the best I’ve undertaken.”
Gavin, who lived in Concord, Washington, before moving to Weardale, County Durham, made the decision to leave teaching to pursue his artistic ambitions.
After studying for a fine art degree at the University of Sunderland, he opened his own studio and his work now sells for between £50 and £3,000.
He said: “My wife Cherry is originally from Penshaw and we both lived in Washington for many years where I ran an art studio and picture framing shop in Concord.
“I used to teach at Thornhill School and have exhibited my paintings a number of times at the Biddick Arts Centre.
“I still teach part-time, but the art is always something I wanted to concentrate on and it’s going great.”
The Agitate exhibition is at the Dance City venue, in Temple Street, Newcastle, and runs until February 16.
Full details on 0191 269 5571.