16 December – Emerging artists at The International 3 & bespoke stationery gifts at Pencil Me In

Polly Checkland Harding
An arrangement of stationary

Our cultural countdown to Christmas… Today, pair a trip to see hand-picked emerging artists at International 3 with Christmas gift-buying at beautiful stationery shop Pencil Me In.

There’s something properly intriguing about an exhibition of emerging artists, where you wonder if you’ll spot the next Emin – and Institution | Outstitution at The International 3 on Salford’s Chapel Street is no different. It’s a curated selection of work by recent graduates identified by the gallery’s co-directors Paulette Terry Brien and Laurence Lane. The title of the exhibition refers to the transitory stage the graduates are now at as they move from student to practitioner; from operating within, to outside of, an educational framework. Institution | Outstitution, The International 3, 16-18 December & 8-29 January 2016 (open 12pm-5pm Wed-Fri), free

The next generation of artists and beautiful gifts by British makers

Handily also in Salford, and on Chapel Street, is Pencil Me In, a shop that’s passionate about products by British makers. Inside the elegantly arranged space you can find luxurious stationery (any paper geek knows stationery can be luxurious), gift bundles, screen prints, clipboards, mugs, home wares for the hipster in your life (everyone has / is one) and, of course, pencils. There’s an online shop, too, if you fancy browsing from home. Pencil Me In, Salford (open 12pm-6pm Wed-Fri, 10am-6pm Sat. Extra Christmas opening: 12pm-4pm 20th December, 11am-6pm 21st & 22nd December)

Culture Guides

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North for autumn.

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022


Classic pre-Code cinema, the Artist Film Weekender and the music of John Williams are amongst our highlights this month.


Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

The Ocean at the End of The Lane at the lowry


It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Manchester is bursting with fun, family activities to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas!

Poet Helen Mort. Photo by Jan Bella


There’s live literature and book-buying opportunities a-plenty as November unfolds and Manchester – celebrating five years as a UNESCO city of Literature – and the wider North region welcomes some great writers, both in real life and online.


The festive season is here, and whether you want to escape it or embrace it, we’ve got you covered.

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Alongside radical sci-fi adaptations and free arts festivals, we take a look at some of the Christmas shows happening in the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Tours and Activities

We’re deep into Autumn now but don’t let that stop you from finding a new tour or activity to get stuck into.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
Compass Festival 2022
Activity Until 27 November 2022, FREE

Compass Festival 2022

sunny bank mills
Activity Until 27 November 2022, from £2.00

Sunny Bank Mills Christmas Art & Makers Market

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Visual Arts Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Graffiti at Zap Graffiti

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £15

Embroidery with Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £59

Making silver stacker rings at The Old Granary

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £60

Glass fusing at Glassmonkey Studio

Textile taxidermy
Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £80

Textile taxidermy with Jaki Bogg at Craven Arts Studios