The Northern Festival of Illustration 2023

August 1 - September 30

The award-winning Northern Festival of Illustration is back in Hartlepool for a fifth time this summer. This time the festival has a distinctly nautical feel to tie into the Tall Ships Race and extend the fun through the summer months.

The Northern School of Art, who run the festival, have announced the main programme and they are welcoming some very special visitors – Pirates!

The School has worked with Aardman to create an amazing exhibition ‘Aardman Presents The Pirates!’ at Hartlepool Art Gallery for the summer. The exhibition will showcase puppets, sets, props and concept art from the Aardman/Sony Pictures Animation co-production ‘The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!’. They will be on display from 24 June until the end of September as part of The Northern Festival of Illustration.

Following the amazing reaction to the Monkey Sculpture Trail at the 2021 Festival year this year’s Festival is staging ‘Ship Ahoy!’. 30 ship sculptures will be decorated by the community and four local artists and form a trail around the town.

Running alongside the Festival is The Northern Illustration Prize which celebrates all that is great about the diverse world of illustration. Attracting talent from around the globe it receives hundreds of entries from six continents. This year emerging and established illustrators are being asked to produce new work on a theme of ‘The Sea’. The 20 shortlisted images will be on public display and the public will be asked to choose the two winners.

Find more information about Northern Festival of Illustration here.


August 1
September 30
Event Category:


Various sites


Northern School of Art
View Organiser Website