A MAJOR exhibition by Leamington artist Jonathan Hague, who was an art college friend of John Lennon, is on display in the town.
The exhibition is being staged by ArtsTrail Studios and Gallery at its new home at The Old Main Post Office, and can be seen until January 7.
Hague and Lennon’s connection began in the late fifties when they met at Liverpool College of Art.
The ‘two Johns’, as they became known, grew to be close friends supporting each other throughout their college days.
Their friendship continued during the early days of the Beatles and the band’s subsequent rise to fame, and the Fab Four became the subject of a number of Hague’s paintings.
As Lennon became a star he never forgot his friend, and sponsored several of Hague’s one-man exhibitions, and later even bought him a house in Leam Terrace.
The current exhibition features his paintings of the Beatles, together with a display from his collection of Fab Four memorabilia, including letters from Lennon.
Arts Trail curator Gerry Smith said: “Our ambition when we moved ArtsTrail was to be able to host major local exhibitions as well as provide a larger space for artists to display their work.
“It was a chance discussion with Jonathan Hague’s daughter about the provenance of the paintings she wanted framing that intrigued Gerry to explore the history of the artist.
“Finding the local connection helped make the decision and with a little help of many friends we have put this exhibition together in a very short space of time.”
Hague’s children are equally excited about the forthcoming exhibition.
“It will be the first time we have ever seen our dad’s pictures in a public exhibition” explained Josh Hague. “Dad lost interest in painting so the pictures were just stored in his cellar at home – we were told to take any we fancied.”
Visit www.artstrail.co.uk for opening times and further details.