Harris building front view of building

28 May 2020

The Harris may be closed temporarily but the team behind the museum shop is looking to the future. They are inviting artists, designers or creative enterprises that live and work in the north west region to submit their work to become a supplier to the Harris museum shop.

Prior to closure, around a thousand visitors a day passed through the Harris doors, offering a fantastic opportunity for selected artists to get their work noticed.

The Harris has always looked to support local artists and even more so in these challenging times.

The items selected will be purchased from the artist providing an income and an opportunity to sell more of their work as soon as it is safe for the Harris to re-open.

Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader at Preston City Council, said, 

"We were looking to build on the success of Harris Makers before we had to close for the current pandemic. We are particularly keen to hear from young artists and graduates just starting out in the industry

"The Harris is looking for quality products that reflect the Harris and its collections. We are delighted we're able to continue the Harris Makers project with support from Arts Council England."

Last year's call out saw five artists successfully submit their work.

Joseph Travis from Red Fox Pottery added,

"Being a Harris Maker is an incredible experience.

As a student I used to visit the Harris Museum and would look through the cases for inspiration, sketching them, dreaming what it would be like for my work to be in those cases alongside the other pottery there.

Seeing my work in the Harris Museum shop is one of the highlights of my career as a maker. I loved the process of making something unique for the Harris Museum."

Ruth from Hammered Ruby said:

"The Harris has always been a place close to my heart, I've loved making jewellery inspired by the beautiful building and the collections it holds.

It's a pleasure to supply the Harris with my work and I am very proud to be a Harris Maker."

Harris Makers' merchandise includes popular ranges of jewellery, pottery, prints, and accessories.

The products are sold at a range of prices so are suitable for most budgets.

The commissions can range from more 'mass produced' items to bespoke and limited edition items.

In 2020 the Harris is also keen to see more graphic designers and screen printers submit their work for consideration.

The deadline to apply is 5 June 2020 and successful applicants will be notified by Friday 12 June 2020.

Full details on how to apply are on the Harris website

Look out for a special launch of Harris Makers products in September.

Background information

About the Harris

  • Based in Preston, Lancashire, the Harris is one of the leading museums, galleries and libraries in the region. Host to art collections of national significance, exciting activities and events for all ages and an award-winning contemporary art programme, the Harris welcomed over 384,000 visitors in 2018/2019. 
  • The Harris is proud to be an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation. The Harris consists of an art gallery, museum, library and café.
  • The Harris has received development funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund of £180,900, for the Re-Imagining the Harris project, which is an ambitious project supported by key partners including the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal.
  • Made possible by National Lottery players, the project aims to establish the Harris as the UK's first blended museum, art gallery and library. Having recently celebrated its 125th birthday the Harris aims to be a centre for Preston's cultural and social life, a source of inspiration, pride and creativity for the next 125 years.  #HarrisYourPlace

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people's lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries - from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.

Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better.

Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.