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Enter our community mural competition

Community collaboration
Highlights 2022-2023
Student Sustainability Architects

Photograph of two people painting a white and blue mural on the side of a red brick house in the leeds community

As part of the celebrations for Leeds 2023 arts and culture festival, the Sustainability Service is running a community mural competition to find the best designs by student artists for three murals across the city.  The artworks will be centered around the themes of sustainability and community.

Submitting your design

All submissions for the briefs should be emailed in any format to Lucy Ram ( by 15 may.

Please provide your name, the brief you have designed for, and a contact email address. 

Once designs are submitted for the briefs, our community panels will decide on three winners which will announced in late April. These students will then be contacted and given full funding for anything needed to be able to paint their design. Additionally, they will each receive a £100 Fred Aldous voucher to be used as the recipient wishes!

Remember, you must be able to scale up and paint your design on the mural location at the end June/beginning of July. In other words, directly on to the wall! 

Photograph of a brunette girl in a stripey white and green top painting an orange shape onto the wall of a painted white house, which is having a community mural painted on

Locations and briefs:

A community member from each location has created a brief on what the community would like the mural to look like. Though, please note that these are open to creative interpretation. Details of the three briefs can be found below. 

Hyde Park – Hyde Park Source (exterior mural):

Hyde Park Source are a long-standing grassroots charity in Leeds. They have been working to improve health and wellbeing through improving the environment in Leeds for 25 years. You can find them on Instagram and Facebook

They have a long-term lease with Leeds City Council for an end terrace Victorian House. The house has a large gable end brick wall, which is where the mural will be painted.

The desired theme is Nature Taking Over, sticking with nature that you would typically see in Leeds or Britain. Specifically, they would like to evoke a feeling of nature interacting with the building. This could involve leaving some parts of the brick work visible but giving a sense of the beauty and power in nature as it takes over. Therefore, the piece would ideally spread from the floor all the way up to the roof. 

Harehills – Thackray Museum of Medicine (interior mural):

Thackray Museum of Medicine, based in Harehills, is the UK’s largest independent medical museum. The museum is a place of big ideas and even bigger thinking, exploring and debating medicine and health. 

Moreover, Thackray Museum of Medicine are an asset for meaningful change within the community and across the wider region. This is through helping people find ways to make communities healthier and better places to live, supporting economic growth and promoting equity and access. The museum has ‘the Core’; a space free for community groups to use for activities, workshops, or events.

The current groups that use the space are:

  • ESOL (English as a second language) Group – Afghan women’s group. 
  • Developing You group lead by Pyramid Arts that focuses on helping people with learning disabilities develop their employability skills. 
  • Art for Wellbeing course lead by WEA. 
  • Community Links – People’s Voices Group. 
  • Freedom4Girls who sew reusable, washable period packs that will be distributed in Kenya and Uganda alongside quality menstrual health education. 
  • PanPals – an open support group for pancreatic cancer patients and relatives.
  • Culture Club – a weekly youth group in collaboration with Sable Radio, that will explore healthcare through creative media. 

Furthermore, during the COVID-19 pandemic Thackray was proud to be the first museum in the UK to host a vaccination centre and the first to host regular social prescribing clinics. Since then, they have continued to work closely with the NHS community and provided them with the space to carry out long COVID testing.

The mural will sit in their smaller community room, acting as the museum’s living room. This is a multi-purpose space that will be used by all, from volunteers to visitors, community groups and staff. Moreover, the mural will reflect their communities & their interests, aiming to make the space feel welcoming, warm, bright and fun. The piece would spread across the wall horizontally. 

Themes / ideas that are key to their community groups are: wellbeing, health, food, nature, herbs, languages, education, photography, drawing, love and collaboration. 

Gipton – Old Fire Station (exterior mural):

The Old Fire Station, located in Gipton, North East Leeds, has been established since 2017 and acts as a brilliant community centre for residents of the ward. For example, by providing a space for socialising, accessing support and general wellbeing. Therefore, with over 1000 visitors each week, the centre is a thriving hub and cherished amongst locals.

The mural will be in the community garden along a horizontal wall that connects to the main building. This has glass windows and doors that allow community members to look out into the garden on rainy Leeds days. The wall is already painted a vibrant red which would provide the backdrop for your design, as it is an important branding feature of The Old Fire Station.  

Furthermore, the theme running throughout the mural should be Gipton’s Community. Therefore, the design should depict the history of the Old Fire Station and also Gipton’s important local events and noticeable neighbourhood landmarks. In the words of development manager Fran Etherington “Gipton is a very proud community”, so the artwork should celebrate this.   

Importantly, the Gipton community are really keen to get as involved in the design process as possible. Therefore, are open to working collaboratively with the chosen student artist on their design in order to create an effective and beautiful mural collectively. 

Find out the other ways you can get involved and make an impactful difference in the Leeds community.

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