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North East artists are invited to draw inspiration from NUFC

The fluctuating fortunes of Newcastle United might have inspired us in the past to either wax lyrical or indulge in some colourful language, but it's probably fair to say that’s been the limit of our football-theme creativity

Waiting for Bobby by Gavin Penn

The fluctuating fortunes of Newcastle United might have inspired us in the past to either wax lyrical or indulge in some colourful language, but it’s probably fair to say that’s been the limit of our football-theme creativity.

But now we’re being invited to think again in the hope that the result will produce some high-scoring works of art.

Artists, both existing and new, are being asked to explore the whole theme of Newcastle United Football Club for a Toon Times exhibition.

This will be an opportunity to have work displayed at Balman Gallery @ Discovery Museum – a collaborative venture that sees the Corbridge gallery team up with the Newcastle museum and lies behind its current selling exhibition there.

Organisers are looking for “open, imaginative and original interpretations of the NUFC theme”, and quality work which captures “the crowd/fans, atmosphere, emotions, experiences, stadium, tunnel, strip, cups, tickets, magazines, players, black and white, songs, history and culture of football, or the stadium setting in the West End of Newcastle”.

So, that pretty well has everything covered, and those tempted to get their creative juices flowing have until the end of December to take part.

Entries can take any form – such as original paintings, prints, collages or photographs – that can be mounted on a wall as the plan is to tie in the chosen works with Toon Times – Discovery Museum’s next exhibition which will chart the fortunes of Newcastle United Football Club.

And, as this is a commercial exhibition, the artists will need to include their prices.

To help inspire them, the organisers give the example of the painting Waiting for Bobby by Gavin Penn, which captures the time Bobby Robson returned as manager to “save” the Toon, with eager fans waiting to greet him. Newcastle went on to beat Sheffield Wednesday eight-nil in their next match.

Those who might already have an artwork they think is suitable should email a low-res jpeg of it, while others planning new work need to email an outline proposal to info@balman gallery.com. Sizes and details of what’s proposed, and the artist’s biography, should also be included.

Entries will be considered between now and December 31 in readiness for the exhibition, which will run at the museum from February 8 until October 5.

A museum spokesman said: “This exhibition will chart the fortunes of NUFC from its inception in 1881 to the present day, featuring some NUFC treasures that have never been on public display before – from souvenir programmes, the signature black and white club strip to silverware collected over the years.

“Visitors will be able to experience some of the famous features of the ‘beautiful game’, such as a recreated dug-out and the tunnel through which the players pass before walking on to the pitch.”

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