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Street art mural

Design students create colourful and striking street art mural in the heart of Manchester

24 June 2024

Artwork situated in the iconic Stevenson Square celebrates Manchester Met’s 200th anniversary

A colourful and striking street art mural has been created in the heart of Manchester by a team of budding design students from Manchester Met’s Manchester School of Art to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the University.

Six design students were selected to work on the project alongside Overspray Collective Manchester, a women-led street art collective aiming to bring more women and marginalised people into street art by creating safe, inclusive and educational spaces around Manchester.

The mural’s design is inspired by diversity in Manchester and was installed by the team over just two days using a variety of materials including a staggering 50 cans of spray paint, masonry paint, acrylic paints, and chalk.

The finished mural is on display in the iconic Stevenson Square in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, a location famed for its vibrant street art, in collaboration with renowned art supply shop Fred Aldous who occupy the space with a revolving artwork.

The colourful street art mural celebrates the University's 200th year anniversary
The street art mural was created to celebrate the University's 200th year anniversary

Katie Jones, lecturer in Graphic Design at Manchester Met’s Manchester School of Art and co-founder of Overspray Collecive, said: “It’s fantastic to see our students transform a piece of street furniture, something which people wouldn’t ordinarily notice, into a powerful artwork representing the diversity of Manchester. The powerful images, icons and words used in the mural are beautiful and it’s been a wonderful opportunity for our students to be involved in.”

Becky McGillivray, co-founder of Overspray Collective, said: “Collaborating with students and giving them this experience is part of why we founded Overspray collective. They were all awesome individuals whose visual languages brought something unique to the process. It was a pleasure to collaborate with them on this project and I hope they loved it, I am so thankful for their enthusiasm.”

Following a call out to the design department where more than 60 students expressed interest in taking part, a team of six students from a range of courses were selected to take part in the project working closely with Overspray Collective.  

Street art mural

The group took part in a one-day creative workshop to create the theme and design for the mural where they discussed the project brief, shared initial ideas, and responded visually to a list of words and prompts relating to their experience of Manchester.

Elements from the artworks created in the workshop – including colour pallets, mark making, shapes, patterns, and type – were incorporated into the final design concept for the mural.

The finished mural features striking shapes and icons including hands and eyes to symbolise the diversity of Manchester alongside the words ‘confident’ and ‘creative’.

Street art mural

After taking part in a spray-painting masterclass where they learned the different ways to hold a spray can, how to use different cap types, and health and safety guidance, the team got to work creating the mural in Stevenson Square.

The finished mural is currently on display in Stevenson Square, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter until mid summer in an iconic space which is occupied by a revolving artwork that refreshes every few months.

Manchester Met is celebrating its 200 year anniversary in 2024 and this month is looking at how creative excellence has been championed across two centuries – and continues to shape the industry today.

This includes Manchester Met’s art and design degree show which features work from across art, design, fashion, digital arts, performance and architecture and is open to the public until June 22. For more information please visit Degree Show 2024.