MILNGAVIE played host to a Clacks contingent last weekend amid the opening of an exhibition of portraits by a Wee County artist.

As reported last week, talented painter Karen Strang opened her Look Aboot Ye: Caring Through Covid exhibition at Lillie Art Gallery on Saturday, January 14.

The portraits depict many of the key workers who kept society going during the pandemic, Karen having embarked on a project to paint free portraits of the area's frontline heroes in 2020.

The gifted Clacks artist painted some 100 portraits of key workers, carers, people shielding and more during the pandemic, including more than 50 from the Wee County.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser:

People previously had the chance to see the works when a selection went on display at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and at Optimise Wellness Centre's café in Alva.

Karen would go on to release a book featuring the portraits, raising funds for charities serving Clackmannanshire, such as Home-Start, Ochils Mountain Rescue Team and Strathcarron Hospice.

Artist friends such as Angela Watt from Resonate, who sponsored the exhibition as part of the Remembering Together Covid Memorial Project, poet Max Iantone, One Weekend In/The Write Angle, Michelle Briggs and more were in attendance at the weekend.

Clackmannanshire's Provost Donald Balsillie was also one of those attending the opening and was flanked by Provost Gillian Renwick from East Dunbartonshire.

Angela told the Advertiser: “Karen was incredibly courageous, and without any payment during Covid, to open up to the community and welcome people in to be part of this project – not knowing how they were feeling, the loss and challenges they were going through.

“I think the exhibition is really powerful and she deserves a hell of a lot of credit.”

The two provosts jointly opened the display and Clackmannanshire's top civic representative said ahead of the event.

Karen's paintings have been viewed widely and two were even projected at Piccadilly Circus as part of the NHS birthday celebrations.

Angela added: “The Lillie Gallery is a beautiful space and it is the type of dedicated arts environment we [Resonate] are aiming to build here at Carsebridge.

“The exhibition was packed, really well attended, it was great to see so many diverse people there.”

One of the works (pictured) is a larger painting featuring the faces of all who took part in the project.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser:

Angela said: “I really think the council should buy that and it should be owned by the county.”

The exhibition at Lillie Art Gallery on Station Road in Milngavie is open until February 23.

Visit here for opening times.