The 2022 Thought Bubble Festival in Harrogate got off to a spectacular start with a special event to mark the opening of The Art of Ian Kennedy exhibition at the town’s Mercer Art Gallery on 11th November 2022.
The exhibition opens to the public today, 12th November 2022, but the special preview and launch party gave fans of Ian’s work an exclusive chance to see the exhibition ahead of its official opening.
As the information leaflet for the exhibition notes: ‘Following his death in February 2022, Ian leaves behind a legacy that will continue to inspire future generations. Much lauded and highly respected by fans and fellow professionals, Ian Kennedy’s career in comics spanned more than 70 years.’
The exhibition features over 20 pieces of Ian’s original artwork, accompanied by “anecdotes and annotations by Ian’s friends Phillip Vaughan (Albertay University) and Gordon Tait (DC Thomson).” As previously noted on downthetubes, Phillip and Gordon had access to Ian’s personal archive, courtesy of Neil Kennedy and Gladys Kennedy.
Artwork from the likes of Commando (including Ian’s first and last covers for the title), 2000AD, Eagle and Judy are among the pieces on display, as well as a selection of Hotspur and Victor annuals, copies of Commando and photos of Ian.
Perhaps the piece I was most pleased to see was Ian’s cover artwork for the 2016 book Dan Dare – The 2000AD Years Volume 2. The artwork looks superb on the book, but the original is even more impressive, with vibrant colours that need to be seen to be believed.
In a nice touch, this free event was open to all. Comics fans and creators mingled with the curators and members of Ian’s family and the evening went with a swing, due in no small part to the serving of free drinks, including Northern Monk’s 2000AD pale ale, adorned with Ian Kennedy’s Judge Dredd artwork!
• The Art of Ian Kennedy runs at the Mercer Art Gallery, 31 Swan Road, Harrogate HG1 2SA until 8th January 2023. Admission is free | Official Web Site
Copies of Commando and DC Thomson’s The Art of Ian Kennedy book are available to purchase in the gallery shop
• Wildcat 1 – Turbo Jones here on amazon.co.uk (Affiliate Link)
Former Co-ordinator of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society. Publisher and Editor of comics-related fanzines. Contributor to books on Doctor Who from Virgin and Miwk Publishing. Contributor to cult TV fanzines and periodicals.