IT was 50 years ago on June 1 that The Beatles released their psychedelic rock masterwork, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and it was next month's anniversary that prompted Pocklington Arts Centre to mount a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Arts Club exhibition.

Running through May to June 20 in the Studio, the show combines new works commissioned from Yorkshire artists inspired the Fab Four or their lyrics on the innovative, hallucinogenic album with its Summer Of Love twist on bandsmen's uniforms and iconic Peter Blake album sleeve design.

To complement and contrast with these often ultra-colourful pieces, Bedale cameraman and photographer Paul Berriff is showing a selection of his black-and-white Beatles photographs taken in his teenage Yorkshire Evening Post days at the start of their rise, on and off stage on tour in Yorkshire.

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Nunburnholme artist Amanda Roseveare with her painting Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles exhibition also was prompted by the success of Pocklington Arts Centre's first rock exhibition last October, All Things Dylan, when Dylan's pictures from his Drawn Blank and Brazil series were shown alongside pictures of Dylan by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, Zinsky and regional artists such as Pete Edwards and Peter Schoenecker, who interpreted Dylan’s lyrics.

"The Dylan exhibition went so well, we thought, 'wouldn't it be good to mark the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper?'," says arts centre manager Janet Farmer. "So we asked Pete Edwards, a very well-known local artist who was head of art at Pocklington School, to curate a show to coincide with the June anniversary. Pete also knew Paul Berriff, so that came in handy!"

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Fixing A Hole by Loraine Walker

Edwards, a prominent figure in the East Yorkshire Open Studios, duly contacted artists to interpret Lennon and McCartney's lyrics or The Beatles at large, as well as creating his own responses in ink to the non-Pepper likes of Strawberry Fields Forever, Give Peace A Chance and George Harrison's Here Comes The Sun.

"If you don't look at the titles first, there's a bit of a puzzle to solve as you go round to work out which song features in each work," says Janet, who notes how Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and the carousel whirl of Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite have been particularly popular among the artists.

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Her Majesty’s A Real Fine Girl by Ed Sumner, made from two pence pieces

Harry Hodgson's boxes and assemblages in assorted cases are a case in point: Lucy, for example, is represented by a doll's head, paste jewellery, a foaming sea and a blue, blue sky. "They're a real talking point, as they're so unusual and it's good to have 3-D pieces in the show," says Janet.

Loraine Walker playfully draws on Art Nouveau female figures in her acrylic representation of Lovely Rita and evokes Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling in Fixing A Hole, while Dan Cinnerman, head of art at Pocklington School, contributes such abstract collagraphs as Happy Birthday Sgt Pepper, Rattle Your Jewellery and A Day In The Life 1 and 2.

Ed Sumner, an East Yorkshire artist now resident in London, is a familiar face at Pock Arts Centre from running the regular Cheese & Wine Painting Club classes with Sarah Green. For this exhibition, everything turns to gold in his gold enamel Beatles portrait The Fab Four, John Lennon in gold leaf and The Queen in two pence pieces in Her Majesty's A Real Fine Girl, although he switches to Pop Art full colour for Her Majesty's A Real Fine Girl, Warhol Style.

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Peppered with art: an exhibition visitor in a Beatles blur at Pocklington Arts Centre Studio 

The works are for sale, and a couple who married in 1967 have been quick to snap up Nunburnholme artist Amanda Roseveare's collage of iconic figures and imagery from that year, Nineteen Sixteen Seven, featuring the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Martin Luther King and an Drop Acid Not Bombs badge as well as The Beatles. She's Leaving Home is equally evocative, as much of Sixties' kitchen-sink films as the song itself.

Paul Berriff's beautifully composed work captures a more innocent age both in pop and pop photography in 1963 and more examples will be on show in Rock Legends, his summer exhibition of 70 photographs of up-and-coming 1960s' pop stars on their first tours, not only The Beatles, but also The Rolling Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Hollies, Marianne Faithfull, Sandie Shaw and more besides.

Berriff's show will run in the Pocklington Arts Centre Studio from June 27 to August 15, accompanied by a 7.30pm talk on June 27 by Berriff on 50 years of stories from behind the camera.

Admission to the exhibitions is free; tickets for Paul Berriff's talk cost £7 on 01759 301547 or at