Now in its fourth year, the Pick Me Up graphic arts festival will be returning to Somerset House this week – offering visitors a formidable showcase of the very best in contemporary art, design and illustration.
Alongside exhibitions housed in Somerset House's Embankment Galleries, the festival programme features a vast and surprisingly eclectic array of different events and activities. Guests will have the opportunity to participate in various creative workshops, see talks and film screenings, and witness "late-night art and music mashups".
Both the elite of the London contemporary art world and lesser-known talents will be represented, and the festival offers visitors a chance to purchase original art and limited-edition prints; the Pick Me Up website says that it'll be possible to buy pieces from as little as £10, so anyone should be able to take home some striking and unique works.
Expect a celebratedly quirky 11 day programme – despite the involvement of some big names, Time Out London suggests an "informal art-school vibe" will be prevalent. In particular, the workshops and evening events promise lively, social fun.
This Saturday and Sunday (20th-21st April) constitute a special Children's Choice weekend, with family-friendly events that offer something for all ages; The Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler will be present, and there will be storytelling sessions for younger children. A model-making workshop hosted by British animation studio Aardman, creators of Wallace and Gromit, ought to be a real highlight; children will create Shaun the Sheep models under the guidance and tutelage of award-winning animators.
Somerset House is one of the capital's premier artistic spaces, hosting festivals, events and exhibitions throughout the year; situated between the Strand and the Thames, this vast and elegant palace is easily accessible from most major landmarks, tourist attractions and luxury hotels in London.
Pick Me Up 2013 kicks off on Thursday (April 18th), and the Embankment Galleries will be open from 10am to 6pm daily. On Thursdays festival goers can enjoy late opening hours, with the galleries closing at 10pm instead.