Nearly 70 artworks created by University of Salford students and hand-picked by Manchester United legend Gary Neville for the Class of ’92’s new Hotel Football were officially unveiled at the venue on Friday 20 February.
The student artists were welcomed by Class of ’92 member and former England international Nicky Butt to a special preview evening at the hotel, located opposite Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, where they had the chance to see their football-themed art hung on the walls of 133 bedrooms, the reception area, Café Football and the Stadium Suite.
Several designs have also been chosen to feature on t-shirts which are part of Hotel Football staff uniform.
The artworks were produced specifically for Hotel Football as part of the University’s exclusive partnership with the Class of ’92 (Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary and Phil Neville and Nicky Butt).
Gary Neville briefed students on the project late last year and over 100 pieces were submitted for consideration in a range of media, including paintings, graphic design prints, photography, sculpture, illustration, screen printing and digital design.
And at a judging session, Gary, Hotel Football Managing Director Stuart Procter and General Manager Stewart Davies, along with Project ’92 Media Manager Di Law, selected the pieces which are now on display in rooms throughout the hotel, and which are available for guests to purchase.
At the preview evening Nicky Butt said: “Our partnership with the University of Salford is all about giving young people opportunities to show what abilities and skills they have. All of the Class of ’92 were given a chance by Manchester United when we were young to express ourselves through football and the Hotel Football student artwork project is just one of the ways Salford students can demonstrate their great talent.
“The quality of the student art I’ve seen on the walls of Hotel Football is absolutely fantastic – I could see some of it selling worldwide. It’s a huge credit to the students, tutors and the University, and the preview evening is a thank you for the great work they’ve done.”
BA Visual Arts student Helen Woolstencroft, whose work ‘When it was for the joy’ is displayed as a large mural in the Stadium Suite, said: “It’s quite overwhelming to see my artwork on the suite wall – I’m still getting my head round it to be honest.
“The opportunity we’ve been given to have our art on show at Hotel Football is great. It’s a foot in the door for students, so our work can be seen by a worldwide audience.
“As a United fan, meeting Nicky Butt was fantastic and to hear him say that he’d love my artwork in his children’s bedroom wall blew me away.”
University Director of Art & Design, Roy Chilvers, added: “This has been one of the most exciting projects that we’ve been able to put in front of our students. It’s only a few months ago that we met with Gary to start the ball rolling, and almost 300 students turned up for the briefing with him. From then on it’s been a combination of creative energy and sheer hard work as students produced clever and witty work.
“The selection process was a difficult task, but those pieces that got through, made it to the picture framing stage, and are now up on the walls, look stunning. The news just kept getting better when we discussed with Hotel Football some ideas for transferring some of the work onto posters and T-shirts, leading to giant wall murals and uniform designs for the Hotel staff.
“All the students involved should be rightly proud of what they’ve become part of.”
The partnership between the Class of ’92 and the University of Salford involves students and staff across the University working on areas including Salford City FC, Hotel Football and Old Trafford Supporters Club. Broadcast and journalism students film all Salford City’s home matches, while sports science students take team training sessions and provide physio support on matchdays.
As the partnership develops, there will be further prospects for undergraduates and postgraduates from other courses to be involved in exciting internship, placement and research opportunities.
For further information on the partnership, visit www.salford.ac.uk/classof92.