AN INTERNATIONALLY renowned artist whose Teesside roots and love of the Yorkshire Dales heavily influence his work is embarking on a world tour to celebrate his 30th anniversary.

Mackenzie Thorpe, one of the biggest-selling British contemporary artists, marks 30 years as a professional artist with a series of events.

Throughout the year, his world tour will feature dates across America from February to August, including Florida and Houston.

A new sculpture will be unveiled at the iconic Transporter Bridge in his home town of Middlesbrough in April, followed by a tour of Japan in April when he will receive honorary doctorate from Seisa University.

Mackenzie will tour the UK with a 30th anniversary exhibition, Mackenzie Thorpe: From the Heart, in May and July at Whitewall Galleries and Clarendon Fine Art, and there will be a weekend of celebrations in Richmond to mark 30 years since establishing Arthaus Gallery in Finkle Street.

Mackenzie will also showcase paintings to a global audience as official artist for Tour de Yorkshire 2019.

Mackenzie's popular work, which is rooted in authenticity and always carries a message of hope, has taken him from the shipyards of Middlesbrough to internationally acclaimed artist.

His 30th anniversary will see the artist’s work celebrated from the banks of the river Tees where he grew up, through the hills and dales of Yorkshire where he made his name, across UK galleries to the shores of America and Japan, where his atmospheric and poignant pictures are acclaimed.

Mackenzie said: "For me this year is a celebration; I can’t quite believe it’s 30 years, since I took a huge leap of faith and moved with my family to Richmond, North Yorkshire and started trying to sell my work.

"So much has happened since then, through my work I have met so many wonderful people and travelled to places I never dreamed I would visit.

"Through all this Middlesbrough and Yorkshire remain in my heart as ‘home’ and in this special year it feels like the cherry on the cake to be placing a temporary sculpture at the iconic Transporter Bridge and I am thrilled to be chosen as the official artist for the Tour de Yorkshire 2019."

Mackenzie's  working-class roots continue to influence his artwork and the famous Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough is a scene that features prominently in many of his pictures.

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30TH YEAR: Waiting For Me Dad by Mackenzie Thorpe

It is fitting that, this industrial backdrop where Mackenzie once worked will be the site for a new sculpture.

Working alongside Middlesbrough Council, the sculpture, inspired by his iconic Waiting for Me Dad, will be launched with the help of local school children in April.

From May to July 2019, Mackenzie will tour the UK with Whitewall Art Galleries and Clarendon Fine Art. These exhibitions, titled Mackenzie Thorpe: From the Heart, will showcase the breadth and depth of his work over the last 30 years with personal appearances from Mackenzie, to mark his 30 year anniversary of being an artist.

The exhibitions will include the full range of imagery which he has become synonymous with, images of love, hope and paintings showing the nostalgic pride of his industrial heritage.

During his career Mackenzie has achieved global success in galleries throughout America, Japan and Australia, while celebrity collectors include JK Rowling, HM Queen Elizabeth II and Tom Hardy.

To reflect his accomplishments overseas, Mackenzie will make a number of trips to the USA for exhibitions displaying his work as part of his 30th anniversary celebrations, including galleries in Florida and Houston.

His precise and brooding pastels are enduringly popular in Japan and he will tour the far east country in 2019.

During this visit he will receive an honorary doctorate from Seisa University in recognition of his artistic endeavours and charity work.

In 1989, Mackenzie established his personal gallery, Arthaus, which has gone on to become an institution in the picturesque town of Richmond, North Yorkshire.

A celebration event to thank the Richmond community for their support throughout his career will be held in April.

Arthaus will be staging an exhibition featuring some of Mackenzie’s best-loved works alongside civic events in the town.

Yorkshire will play a prominent part for the artist during 2019 following his announcement as the official artist of the Tour de Yorkshire cycling race.

He will create a collection of artworks for the race which will be unveiled early in the year.

Alongside the official art he will take part in a series of one-off events that will show his unique and instinctive skills.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “I have long been an admirer of Mackenzie’s bold and imaginative work.

"He is a hugely renowned artist with a world-wide following."