FEATURE: Hartlepool Festival of Illustration | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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This month sees the inaugural Hartlepool Festival Of Illustration touch down in the region. A major triumph that will excite not just illustrators but all North East-based creatives and the artistically interested public, it’s a much anticipated coup for Hartlepool. The free festival, which takes place across venues in Hartlepool throughout June, features some of the world’s most celebrated and well known illustrators, cartoonists and comic book artists.

The well-respected Cleveland College of Art & Design (CCAD), which boasts an impressive alumni including film director Sir Ridley Scott and abstract artist Basil Beattie, will be leading the event in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council and Seven Stories.

“I think younger artists need more outlets and opportunities to see work and hear from their contemporaries, and the festival is exactly that!”

Exhibitions at Hartlepool Art Gallery and Central Library will run from Thursday 4th June until Saturday 4th July, amongst the talented crowd will be works by internationally renowned Ralph Steadman, who has designed iconic album covers for the likes of The Who and Frank Zappa as well as the unforgettable Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas film artwork; cartoonist Hunt Emerson; Great British Bake Off illustrator Tom Hovey; illustrator, graphic designer and musician Dave McKean; reportage illustrator Veronica Lawlor; collective Brothers Of The Stripe; graphic novelist Andrew Rae; local stars including Sara Ogilvie, who has illustrated children’s books such as the brilliant My Mother Is A Troll; Will Simpson, who draws story boards for the television phenomenon Game of Thrones; John McCrae of Marvel fame and many other talented folk.

A series of talks and a symposium will also be on offer on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th June, which will consist of master classes for aspiring artists and illustration enthusiasts. Highlights include storytelling events for young people at local schools and libraries as well as the chance to buy artwork at an illustrator’s market in Church Square, the regenerated cultural quarter of Hartlepool. There’s also the opportunity to attend a book launch from the Book Sniffer at Central Library, plus many of the exhibiting artists will be on hand to talk about their work.

Many will be rooting for the festival to be a massive success so the North East can open their doors to future arts events of this scale. Dan Mumford, who has designed album artwork for Biffy Clyro, has been singing the praises of the event. “I think younger artists need more outlets and opportunities to see work and hear from their contemporaries, and the festival is exactly that!”

Hartlepool Festival of Illustration takes place at various locations in Hartlepool from Thursday 4th June until Saturday 4th July.

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