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So look out for 500 sketchers arriving in Manchester from all round the world in July 2016. It’s not just artists, illustrators and architects who will be sketching. People from all walks of life and backgrounds attend; accountants, dentists, housewives, nursery teachers and university lecturers. Liam Spencer is on my list of favourite artists. Also fellow urban sketcher Caroline Johnson whose fine-art approach to urban landscapes is immediate and engaging. Neil Dimelow is another fellow artist unafraid of tackling big skylines or panoramas, although his astonishing attention to detail is scary. Jan Chlebik is one of my favourite photographers. I would highly recommend anyone reading this who is inspired by our city to check out ‘Manchester’, words by Phil Griffin and photographs by Jan Chlebik. Manchester’s art scene should be viewed as one that competes at a truly global level. I think Manchester International Festival should take a lot of credit for this, with my favourite 2015 performance Tree of Codes premiering in New York in September, and wonder.land holding its own as the National Theatre’s

main Christmas show in London. It is especially exciting to see the legendary Granada Studios heading towards the most exciting cultural development in the UK, with The Factory Manchester. I am very proud of being Mancunian and architectural visitors must see the Whitworth, Benzie Building (School of Art), Central Library, NOMA and MediaCityUK. I love the scale of our city; its ‘walkability’. I am also increasingly fond of HOME. I wasn’t a regular visitor to the Cornerhouse in the way many of my contemporaries were, but I felt very sad when it closed. I’m really pleased that HOME has made that difficult leap of re-establishing itself, and will only continue to flourish. Simone’s work is sold through Contemporary Six Gallery and via her website. Her first book Archisketcher was published in summer 2015 by North Light books in the US and Apple books in the UK.

For more information: simoneridyard.co.uk | @simoneridyard @visit_mcr | visitmanchester.com

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MCR16 Magazine