50 Windows of Creativity – which transformed Manchester into an art gallery to celebrate the city’s rich creative culture and went on to inspire and entertain thousands of city centre dwellers during lockdown and beyond – is to stream the auction live from the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel on Thursday 17th December.
And on top of that, the trail has also been extended until Sunday 13th December too, giving Christmas shoppers and other visitors to the city the chance to ‘window shop’ the trail to discover their favourite makers and creators ahead of the auction.
Lucky bidders will then get the chance to win beautifully-poignant and memorable pieces of art to gift, self gift, or even donate.
At the auction – which will be hosted by auctioneer and TV personality, Charles Hanson – 72 individually-designed artworks, all created by Greater Manchester artists, will be under the Christmas spotlight, with proceeds from sales going to the talented artists, designers and makers involved in the trail, as well as The Lord Mayor of Manchester Charity Appeal Trust – We Love MCR Charity.
Charles Hanson will also be joined by auctioneer Caroline Hawley from TV’s Flog It! and Bargain Hunt.
From spectacular Mancunian mosaics by Mark Kennedy and Mary Goodwin, and fine art from RP Roberts and Dreph, to stunning photography from award-winning Benji Reid, delicate craft from Kaper, and murals, sculptures and more, there is a piece of art for most people and most pockets.
Lots are estimated to go from just £30 up to £10,000.
Viewers will also be able to bid for an original one-off commission from some of the North West’s most famous artists, including the opportunity to have a unique version of the 50 Windows artwork by iconic designer Trevor Johnson, as well as work by spoken word poet Tony Walsh, illustrator Caroline Dowsett, and a bespoke botanical commission from Charlotte Smithson, who will work with the winning bidder to create a custom piece to style a space, or create a site specific sculpture or installation.
With the online auction landing just one week before Christmas, organisers hope that bidders will be inspired to buy something extra special this year to support the city’s creative community, which has sadly been hit so hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
And of course, the We Love MCR Charity, which supports Manchester’s disadvantaged communities and individuals.
Bidders can now view the auction catalogue and register to bid in the online auction here.
50 Windows of Creativity has been created by Wild in Art, in partnership with Manchester City Council.
The project is supported by event partners Auto Trader and Dandara Living, with other businesses including Hobs Repro, Ocean Outdoor, Jamieson Contracting, TfGM, and Kimpton Clocktower Hotel also stepping forward to support the project.
Speaking on his hosting gig, Charles Hanson – auctioneer and antiques expert on Bargain Hunt, The Antiques Road Trip and Flog It! – said: “I’ve been privileged to see many incredible objects ‘under the hammer’ and the 50 Windows of Creativity artworks will be no exception.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to own an original piece of art and show support for Manchester’s artists, designers and makers, while also helping to raise funds to support the important work of the We Love MCR Charity.”
Ben Reed – Head of Creative Development at Wild in Art – added: “We are delighted that 50 Windows of Creativity has enabled us to shine a light on Manchester’s art and creative community [and] we would like to extend sincere thanks to everyone involved,
“Particularly the artists and makers who have worked so hard to create the displays and the auction pieces.”
Councillor Tommy Judge – The Lord Mayor of Manchester and Chair of Trustees of We Love MCR Charity – said: “We are delighted to be chosen as the benefiting charity for the 50 Windows of Creativity auction.
“We Love MCR Charity supports disadvantaged communities and individuals to be the best they can be and the funds we receive from our partnership with 50 Windows of Creativity will go directly to improving lives here in Manchester.”
Sharon Cameron – Regional Director Of Sales at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel – added: “We are extremely proud to have supported and played a part in this wonderful event and [are] looking forward to the auction being showcased in our beautiful recently-refurbished Ballroom”.
The 50 Windows of Creativity Auction will take place on Thursday 17th December from 7pm – 11pm, and will be streamed live from the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel.
You can find more information via the Bee In The City website here.
Manchester Christmas Markets slammed with negative reviews after doing exactly what people asked for
The Manchester Christmas Markets have been torn to shreds by several users on Tripadvisor this year.
Complaining about the huge festive event has become as traditional as the event itself for Mancs – too crowded, too expensive, too disruptive, etc etc.
Previous complaints have usually centred around the choice of traders working out of the market stalls, with people objecting to the repetitive pattern of bratwurst, mulled wine, ornament.
Many have also had a moan that too many traders travel over from Europe, and say that the markets take too much footfall away from the year-round local businesses positioned nearby.
So in recent years, the markets have started to go through a bit of a transformation.
The main one would be relocating down to Piccadilly Gardens, where a huge wooden festive village has been built, this year with live music stage, apres-ski-style bar, and a festive tipi.
This is also home to a huge proportion of the food traders.
There’s even a secret bar here, hidden from view by a Narnia-like wardrobe entrance.
The Manchester Christmas Markets have listened to feedback and gone a bit more local overall, so you’d expect everyone would be pleased – but of course they’re not.
One scathing and lengthy review on Tripadvisor said: “Went on a day trip by coach to the Christmas Market, having been four years ago and LOVED it…sorry, but the difference between that experience and this year’s is like night and day.
“First of all, whose daft idea was it to have the market scattered across nine different locations? People who aren’t familiar with Manchester won’t know where all these locations are!
“The first part of the market I came across was a collection of food stalls, the bulk of them not displaying prices – is that legal? – and the entire set-up looked like a building site. No festive atmosphere at all, and sadly this continued the further I walked.
“Gone was the wonderful variety of Christmas ornaments and gifts, replaced by food and drink stalls and, strangely, a stall selling wooden garden furniture. There is nothing remotely Christmassy about an overpriced Kingdom of Sweets stall, and when I came across a second one several minutes later I gave up and killed time in a Wetherspoons until my coach left to take everyone home.
“I wasn’t the only person let down by the experience, either; when an elderly lady boarded the coach on its way home, she was heard to mutter, “Well, I’d have been ready to go home three hours ago.” I’m writing this trip off as a learning experience – and what I learned is that I won’t be going to this market again next year.”
A parent who visited said: “Where to start. This was my families first and last visit to Manchester, The Christmas Market felt very poorly planned with stalls not in one area. People kept knocking into my children manners seem to be missing in Manchester as a whole.”
Someone else wrote in a one-star review: “Ridiculous prices, paid £6 for a hot dog for my son & was then charges £1 extra for tomato sauce, sorry but that is taking the mick.. usual stores have gone and replaced with food, drink or overpriced large goods. The Christmas feeling just wasn’t there this year :(.”
Another person said: “I visited the Christmas Market at the weekend with a friend and it felt more like a food festival than a Market. No price lists displayed. Utter waste of time. Cheaper to go the ones abroad.”
One reviewer said: “Nothing at all Christmassy, pre-covid they was lovely stalls seeming Christmas ornaments ets, now it’s all good and drink mostly £15 for 2 mugs of hot chocolate, cocktails £9 for a snowball just pure greed, very disappointed, definitely won’t be back this year or in near future.”
Someone else wrote: “All about overpriced food and repetitive stalls. Nothing European about it and not what it once was. £10 for a sausage save your money and try a market in actual Europe.”
Featured image: The Manc Group
Peter Kay Live at Manchester AO Arena – times, tour dates, tickets and more
Peter Kay will finally make his long-awaited return to the stage this week with a massive UK tour.
The beloved Bolton comedian is set to play a whopping 42 dates here in Manchester, as well as a monthly residency down in London at the O2.
His AO Arena dates begin on Friday 2 December and will run all the way through to 2025 (yes, really).