Monday February 10 2020

Community art competition launches to celebrate Manchester's legacy of discovery

Community art competition launches to celebrate Manchester's legacy of discovery

Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) and the Whitworth, The University of Manchester, have launched a community design competition for an artwork inspired by Manchester’s legacy of discovery. 

The competition is open to artists, schools, and community groups across the Manchester Hulme, Moss Side and Oxford Road Corridor area, and MSP is inviting submissions open now till end of March 2020.

Entries will be inspired by Manchester’s heritage as a world leader in innovation - responsible for world-firsts including the creation of the first programmable computer, splitting the atom, discovering graphene, and the creation of the world’s first passenger railway.

The winning design will be installed on the hoarding around the Base building which is undergoing significant re-development and within the Whitworth during May half-term 2020. 

Base, which received planning permission last month, will be a purpose-built home for computer engineering, energy technology, light manufacturing, and materials science businesses. The building’s role as a home for pioneering businesses is embodied in its innovative, forward thinking design which features highly sustainable materials.

Thomas Renn, Managing Director, Manchester Science Partnerships, said: “Manchester has an astonishing history of innovation, with some of the world’s most important discoveries originating in the city, and this is a legacy that lives on. This city continues to be a global leader in innovation and Manchester Science Partnerships is at the heart of this, with over 150 pioneering businesses working from our campuses across the life sciences, tech and digital sector.

“Science and technology have played a pivotal role in driving forward progress and prosperity in Manchester.

“The sector still has an incredible impact on our regional economy and through programmes and events like Digital Her, which aims to engage and encourage young women to explore and engage in STEM, we can see that science and technology’s role as a great enabler and inspiration for people of all ages, hasn’t diminished over time.

“Encouraging people to take part in competitions like this are another way in which we hope to celebrate and showcase our city’s proud history of innovation and inspire the next generation of inventors and makers, and we can’t wait to see how science and technology has touched and inspired our entrants.”

Ed Watts, Head of Learning and Engagement at the Whitworth, said: “We’re delighted to support this competition as our ambition is to transform the way that art is seen and used. We believe it should address what matters in people’s lives, respond to current urgencies and propose solutions to problems in the world, and where better to put that into action than out on the streets of Manchester!”

Deadline for entries is midnight on March 30th 2020.  The winning artwork will be announced in April, and the art will be installed at Manchester Science Park and in the Whitworth’s gallery spaces in May.

  •  Entries need to respond to the question: What do you think of when you think about Manchester's discoveries, technologies or material science?
  •  The competition is open to all mediums, styles and ideas, and MSP is looking for concepts and ideas to be submitted initially – the company will then work with the winning artist to ensure the piece can be resized and formatted appropriately. 
  • The hoarding panel is rectangular with dimensions measuring: 3250mm(w) x 1700mm(h)  
  • Physical drawings or designs should be no smaller than A1 size. A photo of the physical design or concept can be sent in for submission.
  • Digital designs should be workable for the dimension sizes listed above

"Manchester has an astonishing history of innovation, with some of the worlds most important discoveries originating in the city, and this is a legacy that lives on."
Thomas Renn

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