Ian Kennedy exhibition opens at Harrogate’s Mercer Art Gallery

Ian Kennedy exhibition - Harrogate Mercer Art Gallery 2022 - photo by Ian Wheeler

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.’

Ian Kennedy exhibition - Harrogate Mercer Art Gallery 2022 - photo by Ian Wheeler

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.

Ian Kennedy exhibition - Harrogate Mercer Art Gallery 2022 - photo by Ian Wheeler

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!

Ian Wheeler

• 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

Ian Kennedy exhibition - Harrogate Mercer Art Gallery 2022 - photo by Ian Wheeler


The Official Ian Kennedy Web Site

Ian Kennedy – Official Twitter

The Art of Ian Kennedy Facebook Group

The Inimitable Ian Kennedy: A Tribute by Calum Laird

• On downthetubes: Tributes to Ian Kennedy

• On downthetubes: Comic Creator Spotlight: Ian Kennedy (2015)

• Red Dagger: Graphic Novels by Any Other Name – by Jeremy Briggs

Red Dagger Checklist – compiled by Jeremy Briggs

• Commando Comics – Official Site

• Recent Ian Kennedy covers on the Commando web site

• Buy The Art of Ian Kennedy from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

• Wildcat 1 – Turbo Jones here on amazon.co.uk (Affiliate Link)

• Lambiek: Ian Kennedy

Ian Kennedy art on Comic Art Fans

Categories: British Comics, Comic Art, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Exhibitions

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2 replies


  1. In Review: The Art of Ian Kennedy at the Mercer Gallery, Harrogate – downthetubes.net
  2. UK and Irish Comic Conventions and Comic Exhibitions – downthetubes.net

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