Michael Beard

A Venture Arts Exhibition

9th September - 24th December 2023

Manchester Craft and Design Centre

This year marks our building’s 150th anniversary and in celebration, Venture Arts artist Michael Beard will be showing a series of new works inspired by Manchester architecture.

Beard is well known for his large-scale drawings (Thumbs Up at Castlefield Gallery, 2020), which he continues to develop and explore, as well as working on a new body of work in ceramics, inspired by the Manchester skyline. As part of this exhibition, he will also be collaborating with ceramicist Sue Cragg, a Manchester Craft and Design Centre resident maker, on a series of functional items, which she will throw and he will decorate.

We’re delighted to be working with Venture Arts on our first joint exhibition and can’t wait to see what will be produced during this collaboration as part of our landmark anniversary.

Michael Beard is a Venture Arts studio artist who works across various disciplines including painting, drawing and ceramics. Beard is well known for his large-scale drawings and has shown locally (Thumbs Up at Castlefield Gallery, 2020) and internationally (Para Art, Tokyo, Japan, 2018) which he continues to develop and explore in this show.

Sue Cragg is a Manchester Craft and Design Centre resident maker who creates wheel-thrown tableware in porcelain and stoneware clays. The clay is sometimes coloured by hand and may be carved or finished with an accent of colour. Her designs are modern, simple, and pared back. The decoration is minimal, allowing the shapes to speak for themselves. Sue’s aim is to create functional ceramics with a simple balance of form, which gives pleasure in their daily use.

Based in Manchester, Venture Arts is an award-winning visual arts organisation working with learning-disabled artists. Through their studio programmes, exhibitions and collaborative projects, they remove barriers to the arts. They put artists in the lead, champion neurodiversity and provide pathways for every individual to develop their creative identity.

Images of Sue and Michael's ceramic work in progress

Please join us for the launch on Saturday 9th September, 3pm – 5pm
Our cafe BQ Bitesize will be offering a complimentary hot drink on arrival to the first 50 guests.

This exhibition opens on Saturday 9th September – Sunday 24th December 2023
Free entrance
Opening Hours:
Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5.30pm
2nd Sunday of the Month, 11am – 5pm

All pieces are available for purchase. Please email [email protected], call 0161 832 4274, or pop into the office on the first floor.