Harrogate's top venue gets own Xmas card

New Harrogate Christmas card - Artist Moria McTague with Fiona Movley, chair of Harrogate International Festivals. (Picture by MJW Photography)
New Harrogate Christmas card - Artist Moria McTague with Fiona Movley, chair of Harrogate International Festivals. (Picture by MJW Photography)

Harrogate's fabulous Royal Hall has its own Christmas card this year.

A bespoke charity Christmas card has been created celebrating Harrogate’s most glittering venue created by one of the town’s leading artists inspired by her father.

The card features exclusive artwork from Moira McTague commissioned by Fiona Movley, chair of Harrogate International Festivals, to celebrate the arts charity’s special relationship with the iconic building.

Moira McTague, an award-winning fine art graduate living in Harrogate, has exhibited nationally and internationally.

Her father, George McTague was a Fine Artist and Senior Lecturer in Art History at Leeds University and played a formative role in the history of Harrogate International Festivals. George was the first committee chairman on the Arts committee when it began as a Festival of Arts and Science.

Moira said: “I have wonderful childhood memories of when the festival was the Harrogate Festival of Arts and Sciences in the late 60’s.

"I still have some catalogues from Festival Art exhibitions that my father helped to curate and that we visited.

"Being introduced to the world of art at such a young age encouraged my lifelong interest in the arts.

"As a child I remember the buzz and activity of Festival events in and around The Royal Hall area of Harrogate and I was thrilled and honoured to work with Fiona Movley and create an original etching of this iconic building for such a great cause.”

The festival will have several limited-edition original prints available for sale after Christmas.

The artwork was produced as a copper plate etching. Each etching is printed individually and only a small edition can be printed from the plate.

Fiona Movley, Chair of Harrogate International Festivals, said: “I commissioned the artwork of the Royal Hall because it’s very much the spiritual home of the Festivals. We’ve programmed world-class artists in this unique space for over five decades from JK Rowling to Wynton Marsalis to Barenboim.

"Moira was perfect, not least because of her father’s links to the Festival. Her work is astoundingly beautiful and the McTague family are entrenched in Harrogate’s Arts scene with Moira’s brother Paul at McTague’s Gallery and her nephew running the Redhouse Gallery.

"It’s truly a unique festive celebration of the great art and culture of our Spa town.”

Established in 1966, Harrogate International Festivals is one of the north’s longest ftanding arts organisations. Profits of the Christmas card sales will go towards the Festival’s fundraising mission to secure its future 50 years, as just 2% of its income is from public monies.

"Its ambition is to maintain its position delivering Festivals of national importance, dramatically increasing the cultural opportunities for Harrogate and the wider region.

Fiona added: “The cards are only just out and people’s reactions have been, ‘wow’. There’s no other cards like them in Harrogate. They express a genuine pride many feel for the Royal Hall, the Festivals, and our town’s world-class cultural offer.”

A pack of 10 cards will be available for sale at the Festival office on Cheltenham Parade.