Middlesbrough’s Dorman Museum will be the first venue for this year’s Picture Hooks touring show.
The Edinburgh-based charity mentors emerging picture book illustrators and is also holding its annual conference in the town this year.
The scheme enables budding artists to work closely with established and professional illustrators, studying the creative process and finding new techniques and working methods.
This year’s Picture Hooks annual conference – now in its fifth year - also takes place on Saturday, May 19 at Middlesbrough Central Library.
That will be followed by the exhibition at the Dorman museum of the work of the fledgling illustrators and their mentors from Thursday, May 24 to Sunday, June 24.
Featured artists include work by Hlin Davidsdottir mentored by Ross Collins, Anders Frang by Steve Anthony, Rachel Everitt by Debi Gliori, Hazel Dunn by Patrick Benson and Kirsti Beautyman by Helen Stephens.
Picture Hooks Head of Programme Saskia Cameron said: “As part of our efforts as a charity we are pushing for more support outside of London, where much of the industry is based, and instead aiming our sights at the north of England and Scotland.
“The North East in particular is becoming a hub for children's illustration, and we'd like to celebrate that and make sure the word gets out.
“The annual conference is a great opportunity for emerging illustrators and graduates to get an insider’s view into the picture book industry, with illuminating talks from leading publishing experts and agents.”
Delegates at this year’s event include Walker Books picture book publisher and creative director Deidre McDermott and Sarah Lawrence from Seven Stories in Newcastle.
The key note speaker will be award-winning illustrator Chris Mould, and the conference will also feature break-out sessions with the team at Orange Beak Studio - award winning illustrators Maisie Shearring and Pam Smy, and designer Ness Wood.
Alongside the conference, recent recipient of the Scottish Book Trust Outstanding Achievement Award and one of the charity’s trustees, Vivian French, will be visiting local schools to talk about writing and illustrating stories.
Councillor Mick Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Communities, said: “Children’s books and the art that accompanies them are the sources of indelible memories that stay with us for the rest of our lives.
“Picture Hooks is helping to nurture the next generation of illustrators who will help to fire countless young imaginations, so it’s a real coup that they’ve chosen to bring their annual conference and touring exhibition to Middlesbrough.”
- The Picture Hooks annual conference 2018 takes place at Middlesbrough Central Library on Saturday, May 19 from 9.30am to 5.30pm. Tickets £60 standard/£35 student.
For more information on and to book tickets, visit www.picturehooks.org.uk