ARTISTS raised more than £800 with an exhibition featuring an array of colourful creations from primary school children to professionals.

It was was held by Wesley Art Group, which meets at Benfleet Methodist Church.

Professional artists Jane High and Paul Alcock and 2014 Sky Arts Portrait Artists of the Year contestants Raoof Haghighi and Steve Dowson dropped in to admire the work on display and to showcase some of their own.

Becky Tyler, 43, who leads the group, said: “The ethos of the whole event was to share and support art in the community, and it was really nice to give everyone the opportunity to exhibit their work.”

The money raised will be split equally between the church, community art projects and the art group.

Pupils at South Benfleet Primary School exhibited their work, comprising sculpture, drawing, painting and collage.

The exhibition also saw children from Richmond Preschool exhibiting their artworks in their “It’saBug’s Life” display.

Becky, who is also a governor at the primary school, added: “There are 30 people in my art group, all of different ages and abilities.

“When you delve deeper into the community, you’ll find there’salot of talented people around.”

The exhibition money was made from sales, the cafe and a raffle.

Becky added: “I have to say a big thank you to Sam Bennett, the manager of the local Co-op, who provided free food and drink to help us ensure as much money as possible was raised.”

Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris was impressed with what she saw when she paid a visit to the exhibition.

She said: “It was a pleasure to see an exhibition with such an amazingly high standard of work.

“It was great to see some of our younger local artists’ work on display along with professional artists, including one of two from Sky Arts Portrait Artists of the Year.”

Wesley Art Group meets at the church on Mondays from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.