Manifest Arts Festival returns for its second outing, featuring over 30 events across Manchester, Salford and Bolton. Launching today, the artist-led festival runs throughout the weekend, acting as a showcase for more than 250 North West-based artists.

Curated by artists Elisa Artesero, Roger Bygott and John Lynch, who collectively initiated the festival in 2015, this year’s programme includes exhibitions, open studios, performances and workshops in unusual artist-run spaces and established institutions alike.

The University of Salford’s New Adelphi Gallery sees the launch event of Manifest alongside an exhibition curated by PAPER in collaboration with LA-based Durden & Ray. The Surface of Things features 11 artists who work with abstraction.

Nearby in Salford, Amy Stevenson guest curates Wunderlust for International3, an exhibition featuring works by Simon Faithfull, Mishka Henner and Ma Qiusha, all recent acquisitions to the University of Salford’s Art Collection.

Open studios feature prominently in the festival, taking place over 10 sites including ArtWork Atelier, Bankley Studios, PS Mirabel and Islington Mill. There is also an open event at Hot Bed Press. For the first time a number of Bolton-based venues participate in the festival, with three spaces opening their doors – neo:studios, neo:gallery23 and The Gallery & Python Space at St Georges House.

“For me, the inspiration and spirit of Manifest is about community association, trusting grassroot links and mutual encouragement,” says Bygott. “As artists, practicing within this broad vibrant community, we aim to help strengthen those connections and to share more widely and publicly the artistic fruits emerging from it.”

Says Artesero: “Many of the artists in Manifest exhibit nationally and internationally but remain based in the North West. We want to show visitors the high standard of contemporary art being produced right here.”

Manifest Arts Festival runs from 5 to 9 July 2017. The programme is available at

1. Courtesy of Manifest Arts Festival

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