Art Exhibition Launch 27th October: Illustrators’ Takes On Greater Manchester!

Daniel Brown

A new exhibition in central Manchester will showcase the talents of local professional illustrators, as they respond to the brief ‘What does Manchester mean to you?’

Manchester and Salford Illustrated (, #MASI) will run from 28 October – 10 November at 52 Princess Street, and features work by the crème de la crème of Greater Manchester’s creative community.  It has been organised by a group of creative professionals working as Wood Street’s Creative Friends (, to raise awareness and funds for the family support charity Wood Street Mission (

Following an open call for entries 30 professional illustrators’ takes on Greater Manchester have been selected for MASI’s exhibition and online gallery, which aim to attract design professionals, creatives and the general public.  Each successful entry will be accompanied by a written rationale by its creator and reproduced as a limited edition £25 print, to be sold online and at the exhibition’s launch on 27 October (see below for details) with all proceeds going to Wood Street Mission. 

One of the organisers, Stephen Hey, of Wood Street’s Creative Friends, said: “We’re staging this exhibition to increase awareness of the immense commercial illustration talent we have here in Manchester and Salford, and share new perspectives on both cities.  It’s been very hard to select just 30 works to exhibit but, with prints for sale for only £25, our visitors will be able to buy a unique piece of art without spending a fortune – and every penny raised will directly help local children living in poverty.” 

Nick Rhodes

James O'Connell

Works chosen for the exhibition include Stanley Chow’s pop art take on Affleck’s and Barney Ibbotson’s stylised representation of his city’s heritage; see for examples, high-res images available upon request.  Ibbotson said:  “Manchester’s story is deeply intertwined with industry and scientific innovation, and this is evident in the buildings, bridges, railways and canals that permeate the city.  As an illustrator I’m interested in shapes, patterns and textures so I decided to focus on those that portray the city’s innovations and architecture, combining cotton, warehouse windows, cogs and wheels, railway tracks, early chemical symbols and a new version of Lancashire’s red rose to create what could be called a modern Manchester coat of arms.”

Stanley Chow

A parallel student competition – the MASI Student Award – has invited trainee illustrators to respond to the same brief, to be judged by a panel of leading local designers and illustrators. The results will be revealed at the exhibition’s launch when the winner will be awarded a two-week placement at design agency Creative Lynx, as well as having their prize-winning work exhibited and reproduced as a print.

Anna Violet

Manchester and Salford Illustrated will open with a launch event for members of the creative industries and journalists at 6.00pm on 27 October, where there will be opportunities to buy prints and interview illustrators and organisers.  The exhibition will then be open Mondays to Fridays from 28 October to 10 November, with prints available to buy for £25 from the online gallery and shop – please see for details. 

Wood Street Mission’s Manager, Jan O’Connor, said: “Wood Street Mission is thrilled to be involved in the inaugural Manchester and Salford Illustrated; our Creative Friends have already worked so hard to help us raise funds and our profile, and bringing so much talent together to showcase local creativity is amazing.  It costs us just £25 to support a child for a year so everyone who buys a print really will make a huge difference, directly helping local children and families with everyday items we take for granted.”

The exhibition follows the Wood Street’s Creative Friends’ inaugural exhibition Life in a Day in 2010, which featured sponsored photographs of a typical day at Wood Street Mission by acclaimed Manchester photographer Andrew Brooks.

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  1. […] the 27th of October saw the opening night of the first ‘Manchester and Salford Illustrated’ exhibition, showcasing the best creative talent in the area. Illustrators were asked to respond to […]

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