As a city synonymous with its own creative heritage, Manchester continues to foster a diverse art scene which garners fresh global acclaim with every new generation.

Here are ten local artists you should know:

Baiba Auria

Working both digitally and with oil, Egoiste Gallery founder Baiba Auria renders her own celebrity portraits in prismatic, trigonal segments bursting with colour. Born blind in one eye and now with degenerative sight in the other, Auria’s artistic vision draws from the vividity of her memory.

Featuring a variety of incredible prints alongside her own work, Egoiste Gallery sits on the third floor of Afflecks.


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A post shared by Baiba Auria (@baibaauriaofficial)

Andrew Brooks

With a focus on capturing the rhythms of both nature and the city, Andrew Brooks distills his ‘intuitive process’ into spellbinding digital artwork. Inspired by Romantic-era paintings, Brooks conveys the acute feeling of a place through the sublime, using film, photography and digital technology to create sweeping, interpretive 3D renders and futuristic collages.


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A post shared by Andrew Brooks (@andrewpbrooks)

Emma Reynolds
  • With a CV including the BBC, Cbeebies and CITV, acclaimed children’s illustrator Emma Reynolds is known for combining a distinctive style with vital messaging through her storytelling. After creating #KidLit4Climate, the first global illustrated climate campaign, Reynolds worked on Rescuing Mrs. Birdley, a nature-oriented children’s book written by NYT-bestselling author Aaron Reynolds.

Stanley Chow

Arguably Manchester’s most famous active artist, illustrator Stanley Chow has cultivated an iconically singular style known across the globe. Beginning his career by sketching friends – Elbow’s Guy Garvey among them – Chow’s illustrations have since featured in countless advertising campaigns, and are perhaps most well known as the contributor portraits for The New Yorker.


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A post shared by Stanley Chow (@stan_chow)

Jen Orpin

Taking Manchester’s endless supply of superficially mundane urban landscapes and imbuing them with charm and grandeur, Jen Orpin’s body of work oscillates between impressionism and realism from one piece to the next, made collectively cohesive by a recognition of beauty in the simplest scenes. A former contestant on Sky’s Landscape Artist of the Year, Orpin’s art has appeared on the BBC drama Last Tango in Halifax.


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A post shared by Jen Orpin AMAFA (@jenorpinpainter)

Hilary Jack

Co-founder of Salford artist’s space Paradise Work, artist-activist Hilary Jack produces a range of research-based projects, sculptural installations and ‘interventions’ which consider sociopolitical and environmental issues alongside the politics of place within an increasingly proprietorial, spatially hostile society.


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Ian Rayer Smith

A contemporary expressionist painter from New Islington, Ian Rayer Smith foregrounds raw emotion in his uniquely abstract pieces. Alongside a large collection of original paintings, Rayer Smith offers bespoke one-on-one studio sessions which provide fascinating insight into his artistic process.


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A post shared by Ian Rayer-Smith (@ianrayersmith)

Gina Kirby

Co-owner of Salford’s GK Gallery, Manchester University Architecture graduate Gina Kirby produces stunningly unique, multidimensional depictions of Mancunian landscapes through soft embroidery in her Urban Fabric series.


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A post shared by GK Gallery & Tea Room (@gk_gallery)

Jason Carr

Based in South Manchester, immensely gifted figurative and portrait artist Jason Carr aims to incorporate the existential dualism of human life, suffusing each original piece with light and dark in conflict. His art has been recognised by a long list of impressive award ceremonies, winning the Lady Petchey Award and GFEST Visual Art Award, a Top Six Trending Artist at Saatchi Art, CottononMCR winner of public vote and shortlisted at the Bankley Gallery name a few.


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A post shared by Jason Carr Artist (@jasoncarrartist)

Nomad Clan

Consisting of world-renowned muralists Cbloxx and AYLO, Nomad Clan’s urban artworks combine history, pop culture and modern societal issues in a striking visual amplification of the city’s collective struggles. Celebrated for elevating the reputation of street art internationally, Cbloxx and AYLO were named by the Guardian as two of the world’s best female street artists.


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A post shared by CBLOXX , nomad clan (@cbloxx_nomad)

Fri 5 Aug
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Wed 1 May 2024