New Orchard Square public art showcases local talent

Posted by: Ashley Birch
New Orchard Square public art showcases local talent supporting image

Photo credit @willustration_

A Sheffield graduate has been selected to create a new 15 metre wall mural in the city-centre shopping centre

Back in August, Orchard Square’s owners London and Associate Properties (LAP) commissioned a largescale piece of public art for the external wall overlooking the courtyard of the shopping centre.


Their aim is to showcase local talent, asking local artists to create submissions to the brief of ‘what Sheffield means to them’. Over the summer, they received a huge response from Sheffield talent sharing a perspective on the city through their creativity.


Earlier this month, the submission were whittled down to a shortlist of three, including Sarah Abbott, Art Works South Yorkshire/Emily, and Will Rea.


Working in collaboration with the Museum of Sheffield they have now revealed that the winner is Will Rea, a recent graduate and Sheffield based illustrator working with both digital and traditional mediums.


Will Rea said: “This project is an incredible opportunity, not only for furthering my freelance career as a recent graduate, but also because it is a chance for my work to be regarded as a piece of Sheffield’s ever-growing visual art scene. 


“Installing this piece will allow me to give something back to Sheffield’s ever so welcoming community. I plan to encapsulate the can-do attitude of the people that live here, whilst also referencing the industrial heritage of the city. I can’t wait to start.”



Will’s winning design will cover a space of over 15 metres in Orchard Square.


Nicola Blake, from LAP said: “Sheffield is such a cutting-edge city with incredible talent. We want to showcase and support that talent with public art that everyone can enjoy. Will is an emerging young artist and we are delighted that he has been selected.


“We are also developing a collection of pop-up restaurants within the centre this autumn to nurture local food entrepreneurs and the public art project complements the spirit of that initiative.”


The first raft of pop-ups as part of that initiative are the new Street Food Chef Burrito Express, which is open now in the unit that formerly house Starbucks, and a new beer hall coming soon to the square.

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