A FESTIVAL showcasing printmaking returns to Ulverston this spring.

Printfest has been held in Coronation Hall in Ulverston since 2001 and is dedicated to the exhibition and sale of contemporary hand-made prints by some of the most renowned printmakers in the UK and beyond.

Seen as the 'UK's most important artist-led printmaking festival', Printfest returns from April 27 to April 30. 

Artists can submit their applications to be part of Printfest 2023 until Saturday, January 7 at midnight.

The Mail: Printfest 2022.Printfest 2022. (Image: Kate Kirkwood)

Last year Printfest welcomed over 2,000 visitors, ran workshops, promoted Ulverston Fringe, and engaged with local schools.

The artists sold a record number of handmade prints totalling around £75,000.

Traditionally Printfest receives around 65-75 applications for 42 stands, and there is a selection process that takes place starting soon after the closing date.

The Mail: The Last Polar Bear by Hilary Paynter.The Last Polar Bear by Hilary Paynter. (Image: Sally Bamber)

The selection judges include the Printfest Printmaker of the Year 2023 Hilary Paynter, Printfest Patron and well-known Cumbria painter/printmaker Alan Stones and the Artist Tina Balmer, plus the Printfest Team who are artists, designers, fashionistas, art teachers, potters, and an art historian.

"Printfest's aims are to enable visitors to feel welcome and artists to feel valued", said Sally Bamber, Chair of Printfest.

"There’s a lot of love for Printfest locally and across the country."

As one artist said: "I've probably done six or seven shows a year for quite a few years and I've never done one as organised, friendly and all round feel-good as this."

Printfest recently recruited new members to the Printfest Team specifically looking for a better way to engage with schools.

"Last year, 22 schools took part and the school children visited over the weekend and loved seeing their own work displayed", said Sally Bamber.

The Mail: Winner of the Printmakers’ Printmaker Award 2022, voted by her peers.Winner of the Printmakers’ Printmaker Award 2022, voted by her peers. (Image: Sally Bamber)

Through the 'Printmaker of the Year' programme, Printfest is establishing a considerable collection of commissioned prints inspired by the landscape and townscapes of Furness.

Each year the Printfest Team selects a Printmaker of the Year - they receive an award that includes a residency in the Lake District and a free stand at the Printfest event.

The work created by the printmaker of the year becomes part of the Printfest Print Collection and the face of Printfest for that year.

The Mail: Printfest 2022.Printfest 2022. (Image: Printfest)


"This year the Printmaker of the Year is one of the UK's leading wood engravers and a past President of the Royal Society of Painter/Printmakers, Hilary Paynter", said Sally Bamber.

The full line-up will be announced in February.

For more information visit https://printfest.uk/.