An inspirational mural created by 50 art and design students from Sandwell College to transform a West Midlands train station, has been shortlisted for a national award.
The students were tasked with bringing new life to Smethwick Rolfe Street station, while celebrating their diverse community, as part of their community art module.
The mural project, which is a joint collaboration between London Midland, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and Network Rail, could now win two Community Rail Awards in the Community Art Schemes – Permanent Projects and Involving Diverse Groups award categories.
Advisory artist to the project was Steve Field who guided the students on researching the local area and asking residents and rail customers what should be included in their designs, in response to the brief ‘Smethwick Going Forward’, which aims to reflect the many cultures of the local area. ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ is written in a variety of languages as a key feature in the design of the 19.25 square metre installation.
Construction students were also responsible for transforming the former Station Master’s office into a history exhibition space and meeting room, allowing them to develop their plastering, carpentry and painting skills.
The projects were formally unveiled by Faye Lambert, Head of Community Rail at London Midland, Angela Tombs, Head of the Creative Industries and Performing Arts Department at Sandwell College, and representatives from TfWM and Network Rail.
Faye Lambert said: “The students from Sandwell College have transformed the station with artwork that can be enjoyed by this diverse community for many years to come. These projects are great examples of how people of all ages can make a real difference to their area by enhancing the environment of their local station.”
Angela Tombs added: “The students should feel incredibly proud of their hard work in creating a lasting testament to the exciting, varied culture of Smethwick, which will benefit rail passengers and members of the community alike.”
The winners will be revealed at the awards gala dinner and presentation evening held by ACoRP, at The Roundhouse in Derby on Thursday 5 October 2017.