North’s largest art expo returns with over 1000 pieces and a very special prize

Founded in 2008, Manchester Art Fair has attracted over 68,000 art lovers, sold more than £4.5m of art and changed the lives of artist, gallerists and collectors across the region over the last twelve years - appealing to both experienced collectors and non-traditional art buyers with its accessible approach. 

Now one of the UK’s largest and most ambitious modern art fairs, it returns this weekend (11th - 13th October) with over 130 exhibitors and more than 1000 works from over 200 artists. 

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Founded in 2008, Manchester Art Fair is the biggest of its kind outside London

Here are five reasons to pay a visit… 


Painting, sculpture, photography and print…there’s something for every taste and budget at Manchester Art Fair. And, with galleries hailing everywhere from Manchester to Madrid, it’s a unique opportunity to discover work both local and (inter)national.


It’s not often you find works by the likes of Connor Brothers, Banksy and LS Lowry all in one place. Not got the bank balance for an art world celebrity? Manchester Art Fair also showcases talent that’s well on the way, from Greater Manchester Arts Prize champ James Roper to winner of the prestigious Sunday Times Cityscape Prize Janet Kenyon. 

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How much?! Manchester Art Fair caters to budgets large and little

This year, in conjunction with Leon Martyn, there’s even the chance to win a Banksy. Part of the Walled Off Box Set 2017, the 23 x 23cm digital print - featuring a hand-sprayed authentic piece of Israel Wall in West Bank - is worth £1950. Purchase a £10 raffle ticket at stand 242, the winner will be announced on Sunday at 4pm. 


From featuring work from the Manchester School of Art degree show to showcasing local galleries, Manchster Art Fair has always supported Manchester talent both emerging and established.

Meanwhile, its Contemporary Art Fund was created to purchase works from the fair and donate them to Manchester Art Gallery’s public collection. The fund also uses donations from prominent local business people to support young artists and give them a platform through which to achieve critical acclaim and greater popularity. 

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The fair supports both local and (inter)national talent


Manchester Art Fair isn’t just about buying art - you can try your hand at creating some too with a diverse range of adult workshops, from drawing with Creative Art Courses to painting with Cass Art and screen-printing with Hot Bed Press. Cass Art will also be also running activities for children in the Art Café.

Taking of the café, peckish perusers will find food here aplenty. Thirsty? Opt for a soft drink, or visit the fair’s new Prosecco bar.


Taking place alongside Manchester Art Fair, The Manchester Contemporary is the only fair of its type outside of London and focuses on critically engaged art, using bold curatorial vision to select the most exciting galleries worldwide.

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30 galleries and collectives will exhibit at The Manchester Contemporary 2019

From local organisations like Manchester's Pink and Salford's Paradise Works, to international installations such as Madrid's Espacio Liquido and New York's LMAKgallery, it’s curated by Nat Pitt from Division of Labour and is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. This year, the Contemporary is challenging the art world’s gender bias with a female majority of artists and galleries.

Aviva Investors Manchester Art Fair takes place from 11th to 13th October at Manchester Central, Windmill St, M2 3GX. The fair opens with a preview evening at Manchester Central on Friday 11th October from 5-9pm, followed by public days on Saturday (10am-6pm) and Sunday (10am-5pm).

Preview tickets cost £15 (advance only), weekend tickets cost £5 advance or £6 on the door. For more information, visit