Contributors to a Berwick art gallery which closed earlier this month are claiming that the owner has left them out of pocket.
The Square One Gallery, on Hide Hill, closed at the beginning of October.
Artists are complaining of not being paid for the pieces being sold in the space.
They also said the owners had previously attempted to use contributed images for their own personal gain, without asking permission, and that some artworks are still in the shut-up premises.
One contributor, Rebecca Vose, a pencil artist from Cramlington, said that local artists had been asked to “put their faith in the gallery” as it started trading at the start of the summer.
She said: “Then, without warning, the owner shut up shop, running off with all of the artwork from all of the artists involved.”
She went on to say that the gallery staff had been “impossible to trace.”
She added: “I tried to contact the police, but I was told that they cannot act as it is a civil matter.”
Another artist, Craig Fletcher, from Berwick, told the Advertiser that he had sensed “alarm bells” even before the gallery closed down.
“The owners had tried to blow up some of my images, in order to have them printed on canvases,” he said.
“But the first thing that I heard about it was when Fantasy Prints, who were doing the printing, rang me up.
“It was just chance that they recognised the work was mine. I gave permission, but it made me a bit wary.”
Craig, whose photographic career has been building steadily, said that between not being paid and artwork going missing, the local artists were being hit hard financially.
“I reckon this is costing me something like £500,” he said.
“I was given £100 the first month that the place was open, but then after that, nothing,
“There were promises of a cheque, but by the time I tried to cash it, it bounced and the gallery was shut.
“I was quite lucky,” he went on, “because I actually did get a phone call, after a bit of nagging, to say that the gallery would be open for a couple of hours and I could go and get my stuff.
“I was told that I was the only one not getting paid, but I know for a fact that’s not true.”
Not all the contributors have been contacted, as is evident to anyone stood on Hide Hill.
The gallery’s doors have been padlocked shut, and the premises are up for lease. Some small art pieces are still visible through the windows.
The Square One owner was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.