When: 21st April – 2nd May 2016, open daily 10am – 6pm. Late night opening on Wednesdays and Thursdays (until 9pm)
Where: Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
£: Admission costs £10, concessions £8, festival pass £17.50
What is it?
Somerset House’s annual graphic arts festival Pick Me Up returns from 21st April to 2nd May 2016. The festival will be showcasing all forms of graphic art, including illustration, animation, 3-D installations, ceramics and stationery.
Festival goers can join the graphic arts community at Pick Me Up for a 12-day celebration of the best and brightest work from a range of different disciplines. Emerging and established artists, from the recent graduate to the celebrated master, will create new work onsite. Visitors will be able to produce their own pieces at hands-on workshops led by these resident artists. Throughout the festival, the public can turn their hands to screen printing tote bags, posters and stickers, to risograph printing, book binding and even pottery.
This year’s emphasis on the themes of community and interactivity has been inspired by Thomas More’s seminal work Utopia. The 500th anniversary of Utopia is being celebrated by Somerset House in a year-long series of events and exhibitions called UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility.
New for 2016, Pick Me Up will host a retrospective exhibition of work by one of the world’s foremost typographers and printmakers, Alan Kitching.
Each year a panel of industry experts chooses some of the best international young graphic artists to be showcased at Pick Me Up. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the graphic arts stars of the future and take home early original works. This year, festival goers can pick up contemporary ceramics from Clay Collective, a newly formed group of artists from Hackney Downs Studios. The collective will also host pottery workshops on coiling and pinch-pot techniques.
A wide variety of graphic art collectives, galleries and studios will gather at Pick Me Up to create unique spaces within the festival where artists will make new work onsite and showcase complete projects.
Inspired by their success at last year’s festival, Sope Studio has transformed into the collective Peso Press for Pick Me Up 2016. They will be showcasing their bold, hand-crafted posters, stationery and accessories. Peso Press are inviting the public to type-set their own designs, including the English alphabet and Utopian glyphs designed by Thomas More himself. Visitors can create their own stickers with London-based screen printer Grey Jam, as well as pick up t-shirts, posters and zines by street, graffiti and graphic artists like Malarko, 45RPM and Darren John.
Workshop highlights include Bookbinding with Hato Press on Friday 22nd April, and Comic Book drawing with Mike Medaglia on Monday 25th April. There will also be Sign Painting with Mike Meyer and Better Letters on Wednesday 27th April, and a skateboard graphics workshop with Blast Skates on Sunday 1st May. Evening talks include a series of show and tell sessions with this year’s Pick Me Up Selects on Thursday 21st April.
More info: pickmeup.somersethouse.org.uk/2016