He’s made headlines for crouching on Town Hall pillars, heading up the procession at Sheffield Carnival and bringing magic into frontline politics.


Now Sheffield’s hottest property, Lord Mayor Magid Magid, is the subject of this year’s Portraits of Distinction competition as part of the annual Art in the Gardens festival.


Since becoming Lord Mayor in May, Cllr Magid has been in high demand. His Town Hall crouch picture went viral and since he has appeared in The Guardian and The Independent, on The One Show, Good Morning Britain, Sunday Politics and many more.


Now artists from Sheffield and beyond are invited to interpret Magid’s distinctive flair, style and creativity in to their own works of art and take part in this year’s competition.


Back for its 15th year, Art in the Gardens will see around 300 artists and craft workers, exhibiting more than 4,000 pieces of their work including the competition entries, at Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens on Saturday 1 September and Sunday 2 September.


Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “Art in the Gardens is the perfect celebration of Sheffield’s art and cultural offer and the annual portrait competition is always one of the festival highlights.


“With thousands of people attending the event over the weekend, this competition is a brilliant opportunity for artists to showcase their work and promises to be a fantastic exhibition.”


The portrait competition will be officially launched this Friday, 6 July and from then, artists can collect a photograph of The Lord Mayor from the main reception at Sheffield Town Hall and begin work on their portraits or sculptures. Photographs will be handed out on a first-come first-served basis.


Councillor Magid Magid, The Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Sheffield, said: “Sheffield is a truly diverse and distinct city with a real flair for art and creativity so I’m honoured to be the subject of this year’s Portraits of Distinction competition.


“I love being associated with Sheffield and all the city represents and since becoming Lord Mayor my image has gone far and wide. Now I’m looking forward to seeing how each artist transforms my picture in to a work of art and I hope people will be bold with their creations, showing how they can do things differently, just like me.”


The Lord Mayor was photographed for Art in the Gardens at various locations inside his new workplace, the Sheffield Town Hall including the Lord Mayor’s Parlour, the Council Chamber and the Ante Room.


Professional artist and photographer Trevor Neal said: It was a great afternoon meeting the Lord Mayor and being able to photograph him for the portrait competition for this year’s Art in the Gardens festival. Magid made time in his hectic schedule for the shoot in and around the Town Hall and not only cooperated but brought his own creativity to it, contributing many ideas of his own. It was a pleasure to carry out this shoot and I can’t wait to see the pictures interpreted in to new pieces of art.”


Previous well-known names who have been the centrepiece of the competition include Pulp drummer Nick Banks, television presenter Bradley Walsh, former Coronation Street actor Bruce Jones, 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 BBC Radio Sheffield’s Toby Foster and Rony Robinson. 


Each year, visitors come from across the country to view the top-quality work at Art in the Gardens, the North of England’s largest outdoor art show.


The range of creativity on display includes photography, ceramics, textiles, print making, leatherwork, wood turning, glass work, jewellery, and sculptures in metal, wood, and stone. 


There is also a dedicated Home and Garden area, an Open Art Exhibition, artists and craft workers at the top of their profession, a bustling market and the gardens themselves to explore and enjoy.