MAKE it Up North is a new three-day art event at York Guildhall with designs on making a big impact and even bigger one over the next three years.

Running from tomorrow until Sunday, The Art Market's pilot programme brings together artists, craftsmen and designer-makers from all over the country, complemented by a programme of workshops, talks, installations, demonstrations and live music.

"We feel there's a real need for an event like Make it Up North,” says co-organiser Victoria Robinson, whose team of artists and organisers already runs the Art Market in Holmfirth. “While there are lots of good, smaller events, open studios and arts trails in and around Yorkshire, there isn't one, big show that can act as a focal point for art and craft in the area and that's what we would like Make it Up North to become.

“We also wish to reinforce the idea that it's possible to 'make it' as an artist or designer-maker in the north as there is a misapprehension that you have to go down south to be able to sell your work successfully.”

Aside from the opportunity to view and buy artists' work, Make it Up North gives visitors the chance to have a go, trying out a new art or craft, hence the name.

“Children are welcome to get involved too and the event is free to children under 14, if accompanied by an adult,” says Victoria.

Among the highlights will be workshop sessions with Cliff Wright, artist, sculptor and illustrator of two Harry Potter books. He also will give a talk, seeking to encourage and inspire the artist in everyone, as he explains.

“I think there's a creative soul in all of us, you just need self-belief. There's a magic in drawing that many people miss out on because they think of themselves as a 'bad' drawer,” he says.

“From an early age, we start to think we can't draw well and everything we draw is wrong. There's too much focus on the end result and not enough on the process.

“I try to get people beyond that idea of the basic drawing, where they're seeing the object without thinking about it. The results can be quite shocking and thrilling and surprising.”

In addition, some of Cliff's original work will be on viewing and for sale within a special exhibition space, along with work by 12 other selected artists.

Jim Bond, a kinetic sculptor who has shown his work at the Saatchi gallery in London, will be exhibiting his drawing machines and new work for sale.

Look out too for Sarah Morpeth and Make it Up North co-director Brendan Hesmondhalgh, who won first and second place respectively at Art In Action’s Best of the Best competition.

Sarah will be exhibiting her winning paper-cut piece while sculptor Brendan will be holding a workshop on hand-building with clay.

Jamie Frost, who works in pencil, biro, stone, wood and clay, will create a live piece of work over the course of the weekend, with visitors welcome to join in, while Hayley Murphy will exhibit a new installation based on her degree show work.

Further artwork on show will include painting, ceramics, sculpture, metalwork, jewellery, textiles, glass, illustration, woodwork and wirework from artists such as Dionne Swift, Jennie Gill, Gillian Lee Smith and Samantha Bryan.

From York will come the photographic exhibition capturing the progress of Pilot Theatre, Slung Low and York Theatre Royal’s world premiere of Blood + Chocolate, Mike Kenny’s First World War drama from the Front and the York factory floor, which takes to the city’s streets from tonight.

Co-ordinated by Mike Oakes, who ran a similar project for the 2012 York Mystery Plays in the Museum Gardens, the exhibition reflects the highs and lows, the ups and downs, the blood, sweat and chocolate of the project from the perspective of several photographers as Alan Lane’s production progresses from page to stage with a cast of 180. All the photographers have given their time voluntarily.

The Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Julie Gunnell, will open the event at tomorrow’s private view at 6pm at York Guildhall and Make it Up North’s exhibition space will be open from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday, when you can buy and commission from more than 40 artists directly.

Full details of the times and locations of the workshops and artist talks can be found at and workshop places can be booked through the same website.