Art in the Gardens organisers are calling on budding artists to come forward and take part in this year’s ‘Portraits of Distinction’ Competition. 

Artists from all over the region have been busy painting a portrait of Nick Banks, drummer for Pulp and owner of Banks Pottery as the subject of this year’s Competition but there’s still time for people to take part. 

Trevor Neal has once again captured an outstanding selection of photos from an excellent shoot with Nick.  Trevor commented: “Nick Gave generously of his time and really entered into the spirit of the whole shoot, his dog was also very cooperative!  This year’s sitter should be particularly challenging and inspiring for the artists to paint. 

“His home provided a great backdrop for the portrait shots and his various items of memorabilia made insightful props to illustrate his wide variety of interests.  His collection of a contemporary art was a particular joy to share.”

The photos are available from the Council’s Parks and Countryside offices in Meersbrook Park now.  Competition entrants need just pick up a photo and produce their portrait in time for the Art in the Gardens event in September.

The photos are now available from Sheffield City Council’s Parks and Countryside Offices, Meersbrook Park, Brook Road, Sheffield S8 9FL. Please ask to see the photographs at the Reception Desk any time during opening hours - 8.45 to 17.15 Monday to Thursday and 08.45 to 16.45 on Fridays. 

Celebrating its eleventh anniversary, Art in the Gardens will fill Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens with artists, craft makers and visitors from across the UK over two days (Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 September). 

Nick joins a long list of household names that have been the centrepiece of the competition including stars of stage and screen including Bradley Walsh, Bruce Jones, Toby Foster, Music Icon Dave Berry, artist Joe Scarborough, BBC Weather Presenters, Paul Hudson and Lisa Gallagher, the Earl and Countess of Scarborough, Olympic High Diver Monique Gladding and last year featured BBC Radio Sheffield’s Rony Robinson..  

Nick will be at the show early on Sunday afternoon (7 September) to judge the entries in the competition.    He said: “It’s a privilege to be involved with this project and to be aligned with the many celebrities that have taken part over the last 10 years.  I know the standard of the portraits is always very high, so I am really looking forward to seeing the different interpretations from the artists and to judge the event in September.”

This year Sheffield Legend Joe Scarborough will join a stellar line up of over 300 artists and craft workers, exhibiting around 4,000 pieces of their work in the picturesque setting of Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens. 

Visitors regularly flock from all parts of the country to view top quality work in the North of England’s largest outdoor art show. 

The range of creativity on display at Art in the Gardens is wider than ever, and includes photography, ceramics, textiles, print making, leatherwork, wood turning, glass work, jewellery, and sculptures in metal, wood, and stone.  The individual styles and subject matter cover realism to impressionism and all the way to abstract, by both professionals and talented amateurs. 

It all adds up to make a grand day out for all the family, something for everyone, with a children’s area, a stage with musical performances  throughout the weekend, an Open Art Exhibition, artists and makers creating a bustling market on the main lawns in view of the pavilions, and much more of the Gardens to explore and enjoy. 

The weekend kicks off with a Preview Evening taking place on Friday (5 September) between 6.30 and 9.30pm, where guests will be treated to an evening with premier artists.  The best pieces and bargains are usually snapped up on the preview so make sure you don’t miss out.  

A limited number of tickets are available for the Preview Evening. The £6 tickets admit two adults (sorry, no children on Friday) and are available on a first come basis from the Gate House gift shop, phone 0114 268 6025 or visit

Images of Nick Banks