Who will be crowned Gay Village graffiti champ? LGBT street art winner to decorate ‘blank canvas wall’

One of the Gay Village’s largest walls is being used as a blank canvas in an LGBT street art competition – and the winner will be revealed on Sunday.

The Molly House and Queerchester competition encouraged artists to submit graffiti ideas to decorate the 22-metre outside wall.

Artists were encouraged to be creative, with the only requirement being it include the Molly House logo.

Mastermind behind the Queerchester Arts project Adam Prince, said he launched it after a 2013 survey of more than 400 people found that 80% said the community and cultural investment into the Gay Village in the last decade has been insufficient.

“My major concern has always been the lack of infrastructure and choice that has historically gone into the Gay Village,” he said.

“I started this project without any money and as just a simple idea that I hope can grow and grow with new collaborators in a positive direction to highlight the talent of the area.

“It is a simple idea to improve the area, yet I believe highlights how the Village has lacked the initiative it has deserved from its past leaders.”

Hosted by comedian Kate McCabe at the Molly House, there will be an exciting art auction of works to help raise funds for the project.

The judges will be scene superstar Cheddar Gawjus, young entrepreneur Adam Lowe, Karen Richards from Pride, Paul Duffy the manager and artists, Kelzo, Aylo and Cbloxx.

Entries are already being narrowed down by Facebook poll on the Queerchester page and in the first day there were more than 350 online votes.

Adam Lowe, one of the judges from VADA Magazine, said:  “The Village needs initiatives such as this.

“Manchester’s queer scene is about more than the sum of its bars. It’s about the social, emotional and spiritual needs of the community. Queers don’t just drink–they read, write, paint, dance, sing, laugh, love and dream.

“I feel the Village coming together in new ways. I see positive change. When we work together, we can achieve great things. This is just one example of that.”

Once the judges have declared a winner it will then be painted by a team of graffiti and street artists including Hayley ‘Aylo’ Garner, Tony Kelzo and Joy ‘Cbloxx’ Gilleard.

Hayley Garner, one of the artists who will paint the design, said: “I am so excited to see the impact that the Street Art on the Molly House will bring to the area. 

“The area really needs back its identity and we should never underestimate how important the Village is for so many people. It is time to do even better.”

Queerchester was a part of the Queer We Are festival pioneered this year by Rachele Evaroa at the Bangkok Bar on Princess Street, which featured live music, club nights workshops, poetry and homegrown Manchester films amongst the wide range of activities. 

Kate McCabe, host of Sidekick Comedy, said: “The Village should forever be one of Manchester’s most renowned creative hubs.  You can see that the push needed is indeed coming this way.

“This is thanks largely to movements like Queerchester and Queer We Are, and independent artistic ventures.

“They are what we need in getting people excited about clever, fun, and beautiful art and performance and how the area can have more choice than being too much about a drinking culture.”

The evening’s activities begin at 7pm on Sunday, August 31.

See all the designs here

Main image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks.

Designs courtesy of individual artists Ian Brooke, Lauren Jo Kelly, Glen Jones and The Molly House, with thanks.

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