Public to Vote on London’s Largest Street Exhibition by Students from the Royal Academy Schools

London's largest urban gallery to be unveiled in spring 2009

(London) - The Royal Academy Schools and the international real estate firm, Hines, announced today the launch of an online competition inviting members of the public to vote for their favourite work of art from a raft of talented Royal Academy Schools’ students.

The competition can be found on a dedicated website

The artwork will be exhibited on London’s biggest urban gallery, which takes the form of a super-sized canvas stretched across the southern façade of Hines’ One Grafton Street – a corner building currently under construction in Central London.

The winning artist will have his or her work displayed on a 14m x 24m canvas positioned on the building and visible all the way from Piccadilly.

This street exhibition is the first One Spirit Showcase project – a series of collaborations between Hines and cultural organisations. This collaboration continues Hines’ long-standing commitment to the arts and provides an unusual platform for the Royal Academy Schools’ students to profile their work in Central London.

Visitors to the One Spirit Showcase website can vote for their preferred image. Once the public casts their vote, a panel of highly regarded contemporary art critics including Maurice Cockrill, RA; Michael Petry, Curator, Royal Academy Schools Gallery; Gerald Hines; Kay Saatchi; JJ Charlesworth; John Hoyland, RA; Mark Davy, Futurecity; and Eliza Bonham-Carter, Curator, RA Schools; will endorse the decision.

The works of art range from figurative to abstract in a wide range of media including paintings, photography, ceramics, prints and computer-generated pieces.

Peter Holden, director, Hines UK, commented, “Hines has a legacy of working with both established and up-and-coming artists and architects all over the world.

This exciting project enables us to support the exceptional talent of the Royal Academy Schools’ students, and use our development at One Grafton Street to showcase this work. It is the first in a series of projects in our UK portfolio that we look forward to developing under the One Spirit Showcase banner.”

Professor Maurice Cockrill RA, The Keeper of the Royal Academy of Arts, commented, “My students and I are grateful to Hines for taking such a creative initiative, and offering this chance to collaborate on this huge public project that will display their work in a quite spectacular way, fronting a wrap on One Grafton Street, a corner site in a prestigious area of Mayfair, Central London. These are remarkable students with the highest standards of creative energy and diversity, whose imagery will enhance and enliven this location and become an exciting landmark at this busy junction.”

Royal Academy Schools’ students submitted artwork to be part of the Urban Gallery – coordinated by Michael Petry, curator, Royal Academy Schools Gallery and managed by cultural consultants Futurecity and brand developers Sectorlight.



17 December 2008 – online public competition starts -

8 February 2009 – online public competition closes

Spring 2009 – unveiling of street exhibition, the Urban Gallery, One Grafton Street, London

The One Spirit Showcase is a platform for Hines to support the arts and other cultural activities connected to its development projects.

The Showcase will help Hines continue its long-standing commitment to the arts, supporting both artists and architects.

Through its website, the One Spirit Showcase provides a window for a variety of different art projects including “The Hines Photographic Scholarship” and the commissioning of a permanent piece of public art at One Grafton Street. More information about these will be available as the projects progresses.

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One Grafton Street is a period building currently undergoing redevelopment behind an historic retained façade.

Designed by architects Hamilton Associates it will provide modern office, residential and retail accommodation under the skin of an exquisite Victorian exterior.

The building will be ready for occupancy in the spring of 2010.

Royal Academy Schools is an independent establishment that offers the only three-year, full-time postgraduate course in the UK. As the country’s oldest art school, it has a strong sense of identity, tradition and community, having developed continuously since its foundation with the Royal Academy in 1768. It is regarded throughout the world as a centre of excellence.

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Hines is an international real estate organisation with a presence in more than 100 cities worldwide. The firm was incepted in the U.S. in 1957 by Gerald Hines. In half a century at the forefront of developments in design and the built environment, the company has consistently shown the depth of its commitment to the highest aesthetic standards. It has been a strong proponent of the arts, championing a roster of world-class artists and architects, from Joan Miró to Frank Gehry, and working with institutions including MOMA.

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