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The Northern Art Show will run at the Harrogate International Centre in the heart of town from March 21 to 24. Despite its billing as Harrogate’s first contemporary art event it will have a wide profile, from cutting edge to more traditional modern painting and sculpture. Prices will range from £100 to £5000.

Initially West Country-based Mrs Walker envisaged around 90 exhibitors, but due to galleries taking larger spaces than expected the total has been revised to around 60.

Within a week of announcing the fair a third of the available space was let, but names will not be released until formal contracts are drawn up.

One gallery, though, which can be confirmed is the Walker Galleries of Harrogate, owned by Louise Walker’s art dealer husband David and his brother Ian. There are two Walker Galleries in Harrogate, one of them contemporary, as well as another contemporary gallery in Devon.

Also certain to be at the show is the local Sutcliffe Galleries whose director Helen Sutcliffe is the northern representative of BADA and a key figure in the launch eight years ago of Louise Walker’s The Harrogate Antique Fair, which is held in association with BADA every autumn.

Mrs Walker’s first fair was her flagship The Harrogate Fine Art & Antiques Fair which still runs with much success at the International Centre every Spring.

These two antiques fairs are probably the most prestigious in the North and have done much to reinforce Harrogate’s reputation as antiques capital of the region.

Doing the same for contemporary art will prove more difficult but Mrs Walker says she has been considering such a show for a few years and just awaited a suitable slot. She feels such a fair in the town is long overdue.

She also insists the new fair is exhibitor-driven. “Galleries have been badgering me for some time to launch this show.”

By David Moss