The Tour de Yorkshire has become an integral part of the Yorkshire calendar, attracting a flock of new visitors every year and showing off our beautiful county to the World!
One thing that Le Tour is also helping with, is the support and promotion of Yorkshire artists, with a brand new collection of official artwork each year to show off the county and the sport in the best way possible.
The 2019 Official Artist is Mackenzie Thorpe, a man whose story is one of dark and light, of hope and faith and family...
Mackenzie grew up on a Middlesbrough council estate in the 50’s and 60’s. He was one of seven children and life was tough... but there was always love...
He adored and admired his father, the time he spent with him was rare and treasured... he saw how hard his father had to work to provide for their large family and always hoped that one day he could match that valiant effort.
He had always found school difficult, due in no small part to being dyslexic, although at the time this was not an acknowledged condition and his struggles with teachers and everyday life took its toll.
Art was the one subject he felt at home with... he could express himself, he could communicate, he excelled...
In Middlesbrough the main employment was in the shipbuilding industry and there was never any doubt that this would be where Mackenzie too would go... art wasn’t a way a make a living, indeed the main source of drawing paper for Mackenzie at home was the inside of cigarette packets... and a small amount of money from his uncle for drawing materials.
And so at the age of 15 Mackenzie joined the shipyard, with its long days of hot and heavy work. It was far from what he dreamed of... As the years passed he thought of the large footsteps left by his Father and knew that he was facing an immense challenge to fill them...
A chance meeting with his former art teacher got him thinking about another life... and as the years passed Mackenzie started his own family and he knew that he wanted something much different for his own children. Mackenzie got to thinking that sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. And so he did.
In 1989 Mackenzie made the decision to move his family to the small Yorkshire town of Richmond where he opened a gallery and started selling his art. This was it, he had to make it work!
Over the years Mackenzie has become a household name with his originals hanging in many private collections. Celebrity collectors include JK Rowling, Tom Hardy and even Her Majesty the Queen.
Now in his 30th year of providing for his family through his art, Mackenzie has never forgotten his Yorkshire roots although it’s a long time since he lived in Richmond. His proud Yorkshire ties remain strong and he is often associated with regional charities, always remembering those early days and helping whenever he can.
Mackenzie is delighted to have been chosen as the Official Artist for the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire.
His love of this beautiful county is boundless and his ability to tie together love and landscape is now widely recognised, with his stunning Tour de Yorkshire Collection filling our hearts with wonder and faith and love..
All pieces in the collection are available from us here at The Acorn Gallery in Pocklington where there will be a full exhibition between 1st-8th May. The Peloton passes right through the town so join us on 2nd May for the best view :)
Any questions please call Diane on 01759 307652 or visit the website www.theacorngallery.co.uk
FOOTNOTE: The Tour de France has been running since 1903 with only a break during wartime but the Tour de Yorkshire only began in 2015, one year after the Tour de France stages it’s Grand Depart here in 2014.