The Hub – student community artwork commission

Deadline: 24/01/2020  |  Published: 16/12/2019  |  City: Durham  |  Region: Durham  |  Country: United Kingdom  |  Katie Braithwaite

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Durham University is looking to commission a socially engaged artist to work with the first intake of resident students in creating an artwork for one of its newest buildings, remaining meaningful to the new students and reflecting their experiences, ambitions or hopes of being part of this new university community.

As part of the Durham University Strategy, 2017-2027, academic programs and Colleges have been relocated from Queen’s Campus in Stockton to Durham City.

A new home for John Snow College and a brand-new College are being developed at Mount Oswald, totaling 1,000 student bed spaces, to be ready for use at the start of the academic year 2020/21.

There will also be a Hub - a key social space - tying the two colleges together, with an events hall, gym, music practice rooms, performance practice room, a Yoga/dance studio, a faith room, and a multi-use Games Area.

The university is inviting artists to submit proposals for creating a new wall based mural or artwork to be sited internallywithin the ‘Hub’ building. The Hub is the sites central space where students from both colleges will come together to eat and socialise together.

The overarching theme for the commission is diversity, in its broadest sense. The artwork should represent the cultural diversity of the university, while remaining sensitive to the university community.

The universities’ current Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda can be found here

The fee for the commission is £6500 (including VAT) to be paid in installments and to include an artist’s fee, travel and accommodation if required. A £3500 budget is available to cover all material and fabrication costs.

The selected artwork will enter into the University’s art collection.


We welcome expressions from artists working in a variety of materials however the sculpture must:

  • be long term
  • be resilient to human interaction in a very high footfall area
  • be able to be secured or fabricated directly onto identified wall/s
  • be easy to maintain and clean as required
  • not feature any sharp or pointed surfaces that could cause damage to anyone coming into contact with it
  • the artwork must be created with input/collaboration of students
  • the final design of the artist must be approved by the Mount Oswald project board/principles before completion and installation.
  • University museum technicians are available to assist with installation if required.


Timing for completion and installation of the sculpture is November 2020.

Artists must have Public Liability insurance cover in place.

Selection Process 

At this stage we are inviting interested artists to submit a proposal and to outline their approach to the project, by 24 January 2020.

Successfully shortlisted artists will then be invited to present their proposal/approach to the selection panel on 31 January 2020.


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