WELCOME to the latest in our series of columns from the Arti Farti Fine Art Gallery in Saltcoats - showcasing the work of local secondary school pupils.

The Hamilton Street gallery - allied to the Art N Joy framing store - plan to exhibit the best work from nine secondary schools in the months to come.

The latest school to take part is St Matthew’s Academy, with their best artists exhibiting their work in the gallery over the last two weeks - to a tremendous response from the public.

They will be followed by Auchenharvie Academy, then schools from across North Ayrshire.

Gallery owner Eddie Paterson said: “We are trying to help the community and lift the morale in North Ayrshire.

“The whole idea is to give the youngsters an idea of what a career in art involves. It’s not just about the art itself, but about promoting and exhibiting it.

“We hope this will give the pupils some real enthusiasm about pursuing art as a career.

“Many of the St Matthew’s pupils really put their heart and soul into their work and that came across.

“It really means a lot to them. You can tell by the way they accomplished the shading on some of the art. A lot of it comes from the heart and they really put their souls into the work.”

He added: “We want the schools to help us to help them. And the community really needs to get behind these young artists to help them too.

“All we want to do is give them a helping hand and let the pupils know that if this is your passion, this is how it is done.”

Eddie Paterson opened Art ‘N’ Joy Framers and Gallery with his wife Lynette. It was after achieving great success with this venture that Eddie began to notice a great many art-lovers resided locally.

With this in mind, he sought to bring Ayrshire into focus and decided to open a new gallery to showcase a wide variety of artworks. They are delighted to be able to exhibit the works of fantastic artists such as Alexander Millar, Robert Kelsey, Adam Barsby, Georgina McMaster and many more.

Arti Farti are also having a demonstration by artist Janet McCrorie, who specialises in artwork featuring Highland dancers, in July. That promises to be another event not to be missed.

Watch this space for more details of the forthcoming exhibitions.