AMATEUR artists are playing to the gallery at their first-ever exhibition thanks to the success of an internet-based group.

Inverclyde Art Forum was launched on Facebook two years ago to allow like-minded people from across the district to share their work and enthusiasts to admire their creative talents.

There are now over 500 members, including the youngest artist Grace Fitzharris, who is only 10, up to folk in their 70s.

Dozens of pieces of their work are now on display for the first time in an exhibition at the Beacon Arts Centre.

The group was assisted by Karen Patton Orr, from RIG Arts, and Inverclyde artist Derek Mitchell to hang the paintings and arrange the display.

Forum founder John Dollard, from the east end of Greenock, said: "I just started a Facebook page for all different artists of all ages and abilities to showcase their work. "Anyone can join.

"It's not just for artists, people might just want to look at the work. "It gives everybody in the group a bit of confidence to showcase their work.

"It's went from that to an exhibition in the Beacon and that's thanks to Karen at RIG Arts.

"It's a good thing for Inverclyde and it's growing all the time."

The exhibition launched last Saturday and runs until August 4.

It features an array of work, including by young Greenock girl Grace, who got involved through her dad Chris, who is also a member of the group.

Forum pioneer John, who paints for a living and for pleasure, now hopes it can be an annual event celebrating local talent.

He said: "I've been painting as a hobby in January 2014 and I love it.

"There's quite a lot of photographs, pencil drawings, paintings and prints in the exhibition. "Everybody has had their own wee go and done it in their own way.

"Hopefully it goes well and we can maybe do it annually and grow it." Admission to the exhibition is free.

For more information about Inverclyde Art Forum, join the group's Facebook page.