Hartlepool festival is a big hit with art lovers

Illustrator Chris Riddell talks with Festival visitors.
Illustrator Chris Riddell talks with Festival visitors.

A milestone festival that was launched over the weekend has been dubbed a hit after having 2,000 in the first two days.

Around 2,000 fans and art lovers flocked to see their favourite illustrators, including new UK children’s laureate Chris Riddell, as the Festival of Illustration got underway in Hartlepool.

In a celebration of the illustrative arts, the Festival’s first weekend at Cleveland College of Art and Design saw world-renowned artists from all over the globe showcase a selection of their works at an exhibition, including many original pieces not viewed by the public before now.

Over 250 works of art from as far back as the 1950s and 60s are now on display at the Hartlepool Art Gallery, which is open until July 4.

The exhibition proved to be a popular attraction, as visitors viewed illustrations from The Observer’s Chris Riddell, who was announced yesterday as children’s laureate, Hartlepool-born artist Keith Robson, who worked for DC Comics, Marvel artist John McCrea, Ralph Steadman, and Dave McKean.

The crowds were also drawn to the Festival market and street market in Church Square, where visitors purchased work from exciting established and contemporary artists from around the country.

Ben Clowes, programme leader for CCAD’s BA (Hons) Illustration for Commercial Application Course, said “What an incredible two days it has been, to host such an acclaimed international exhibition in what can only be described as one of the North East’s most unique galleries and have 2,000 visitors shows how illustration connects to all.”