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Street artists invited to pitch for new public artwork in Exeter

Published: 7 July 2023

Street artists invited to pitch for new public artwork in Exeter New Buildings Mural by Andrew Alleway, painted in 2008

Art Work Exeter are offering a commission of £3,000 for a new piece of art close to Exeter Central Library.

The piece is being commissioned to replace The Witches Mural which is sadly failing due to the age of and the materials used in its creation.

Instead a new piece is being commissioned and archive photographs of the old mural in its prime will be digitised and become part of a new online register of city artworks that Art Work Exeter is preparing, where people will be able to contribute their own thoughts and memories about public artworks in the city on an interactive map.

The decision to replace the mural, which was created in 2008 by Andrew Alleway, came about during a recent review of Exeter’s public artworks as part of a public art strategy.

Through conversations with identified stakeholders – local historians, members of the creative community, local councillors, businesses in the area and the mural’s painter – it was agreed that it was time for something new. 

“It is always sad when public art that has become popular reaches the end of its life, but time passes on,” said Jon Bell, Exeter Red Coat Guide.

“I’m glad that we’ll be able to enjoy this fondly regarded and intriguing work online in the future, now that it is no longer the colourful and arresting work that it once was,” he added.

Stuart Crewes, Creative Director of Art Work Exeter, said: “History is an ever-changing thing, as more stories are shared and different perspectives are revealed. While the witches mural was a great celebration of certain aspects of Exeter’s past, it has itself now become part of our histories and stories of this place.

“We’re really glad to be able to offer people a way of connecting with this work still, and talking about their memories and what matters to them most.”

The £3,000 funding for the new piece of art has been secured from the Green Futures team at the University of Exeter as part of the ‘We Still Have A Chance’ project.

An artists’ commission has been launched inviting artists to submit a preliminary sketch on a supplied template. The deadline is 21 July.

Shortlisted artists will receive £250 to work these into larger proposals which will be displayed for members of the public to view and vote on. The selected artist will receive £3,000 to deliver the final work.

The final piece of street art will be unveiled in time for British Science Week on 7 September.

For more information go to Art Work Exeter’s website at

Follow Art Work Exeter on social media or check out their website for ways to be a part of the commissioning process and register votes for the final piece to get painted.

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