The Manchester Academy of Fine Arts from 1859 to 2003

by Sheila Dewsbury

The book, published by MAFA, is a treasure trove of information from the Academy archives. It provides a comprehensive survey of art and artists in the north of England from 1859 to the beginning of the 21st century.

‘Entertaining and informative’, David Lee, The Jackdaw Magazine.

To mark the 150th Anniversary of the Academy in 2009 copies were donated to over forty libraries across Greater Manchester and are available for public reference.

The book is on sale at the Portico Library, 57 Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3HY.

Price £8.95

Also available by order from

(add £1.54 postage)

All cheques payable to MAFA

Derek Boak

My work is concerned with the spirit. That of place, human existence and that of the wraith. After visiting many sites of ancient stones and cairns, I have become interested in the layers of history, meaning and traces of human activity present in these places. To explore these notions I experiment with a variety of imagery and materials, layering, binding, assembling and scraping to create metaphors for feelings, remembrances,people and places. It is hoped that the viewer of the work will find their own memories and hopes reflected in the images and surfaces.

James Bartholomew

Visit James’s Website

My aim with my paintings, is to convey the mood of a landscape and the weather and light that create it. In my seascapes particularly, I want to communicate the energy and motion that make the sea such an interesting (if challenging) subject. Changing conditions and adverse weather are often the starting points for a picture – one reason why I have returned to paint on Scotland’s West coast and Islands so many times. The sea and coastline of Britain have been the main source of inspiration for some years now, with paintings of the Western Isles, Shetland, Pembrokeshire, Southern Ireland, St. Kilda and more recently Cornwall. Other collections of work include landscapes from rural France and Tuscany. The same honest, non-sentimental approach is employed, and again there is a heavy emphasis on atmosphere and ‘a sense of place’ I took my BA at Leicester Polytechnic (1992) and have since exhibited widely in solo and mixed shows including The Royal Society of Marine Artists, The Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour The Hunting Art Prizes and the Friedlander Competition. I have collected several awards including The Sir Peter Scott Award and am a member of The Manchester Academy of Fine Art. As a travel Illustrator, I have worked for the Sunday Times, The British Tourist Authority and BBC Holidays. Several paintings have been successfully auctioned by Christies and Bonhams in London and Singapore. In 2004 I was awarded the Charles Pears Award by the Royal Society of Marine Artists. I work full time from my studio and gallery in Parbold, Lancashire and travel regularly around the British Isles. My most recent work has been concentrated on the North Cornish coast and in the Lake District.

Bohuslav Barlow (Todmorden)

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Born in Moravia Czechoslovakia, he came to England in 1955 and trained at Manchester and the Central School of Art, London. He has had numerous solo exhibitions including Dryden St Gallery, Chalk Farm Gallery and Greenwich Gallery, London. Selected mixed exhibitions include the Royal Society of Painters Etchers and Engravers, the British Artists Show Chelsea, Royal Academy Summer Show, House of Commons Gallery and the Pastel Society in the Mall Galleries, London. He has exhibited in many municipal and private galleries throughout England. He also exhibits in California, USA. His work is the subject of a limited edition book entitled “Visual Alchemy” published in 1987. He is an elected member of the Manchester Academy and is listed in “Who’s Who in Art” and in the Dictionary of International Biography. He opened his own gallery in Todmorden, a small town in the South Pennines where he lives and which provides him with much of his inspiration. He has made his living from his work without having to teach for the last two decades – a fact of which he is proud.

Manchester Academy Of Fine Art 2017 Spring Exhibition.

This years MAFA exhibition will be held at the Stockport Art Gallery

From Saturday 25th February until Tuesday 11th April 2017

Read More

Michael Ashcroft

Michael was born in Lancashire and studied art and design at Bishop Rawstorne high school. He also studied A-Level fine art and OCA portraiture at Runshaw College. He then moved on to further education at Blackburn College, doing city and guilds in life drawing. Michael’s early paintings were abstract acrylics and pastels which concentrated on the separation between light and dark before moving onto oils incorporating his early inspirations and techniques into the landscape around him. His current work is concentrated around splitting his time between studio and outdoor Painting. Using a palette knife and brush he creates a loose painterly style which is a combination of emotional and representational response to his surroundings. Larger paintings are then worked on back at the studio using the oil sketches and photographs for reference. Michael’s paintings have received many awards including finalist in the International Artist Magazine competition and also winner of the Harris Open Exhibition. His feature in the International Artist Magazine has gained him recognition around the world. This has found him many admirers of his work. Michael has had a solo exhibition each year from 2008 including a sell out show in the city of Oxford. He has recently just been elected a member of the prestigious Manchester Academy of Fine Art

Gerry Halpin MBE PMAFA

Short bio goes here.

Recent H


Studio 10, Victoria House, 29 Victoria Road, Horwich, Bolton, BL6 6NA, UK

Tele:  +44(0) 1204 692292  Email:



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