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Manchester’s Artistic Streets 8 Famous Artists and Murals

Manchester’s Artistic Streets: 8 Famous Artists and Murals

If there’s a word that best describes the great city of Manchester, it is ‘artistic’. There are dozens, if not, hundreds of murals spread across the city and they are just about as unique to each other as any other paintings and art pieces you can find in a museum! 

Likewise, you can even consider the place to be a giant museum in and of itself due to the abundance of beautiful picturesques and sculptures that run rampant on the streets and private art facilities. 

But, where are the murals in Manchester and where is the street art in Manchester as well? 

Most of the highest prestigious murals and art pieces can be found in Thomas Street by Shudehill Station. You can also find these places (Row 77, posh areas in Manchester) in High Street, Greater Manchester. 

All you need to do is turn towards the fish market and then look at the walls in the corner to appreciate the brilliant art masterpieces made by amazing connoisseurs. 

Are you ready to go on a mini tour here and see the wonders of the most talented Mancunians who produced the most spectacular Manchester murals and paintings you can ever see? Let’s check out each artist and their contributions to Manchester! 

1. Akse P19

Akse P19's Homepage

One of the most popular mural artists in Manchester is Akse P19 who consistently make up some of the most breathtaking art pieces you can find in the streets of the great city. 

Hailing from France and with Vietnamese roots, Akse is a graffiti artist who has called Manchester home since 1997. 

Akse began honing his craft in 1992 and is a proud member of the P19 Graffiti Crew. In recent times, Akse has turned his attention towards the intricate art (Row 265, art gallery Manchester) of freehand High-Definition HD photo-realism graffiti portraits. 

He has mastered skill and passion to make some of the best murals you can ever see. This unique style has allowed him to make a name for himself in the vibrant world of street art.

From: Akse_P19
HNRX + Akse P19 graffiti, Brick Lane
HNRX + Akse P19 graffiti, Brick Lane” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by duncan cumming

Personally, I love his paintings and they are truly jaw dropping when you happen to stumble upon them. When I walk past the streets of Manchester and see some of my favourites from him (like David Bowie mural), I stop on my tracks and admire in awe. 

David Bowie Mural by Akse P19
Location: Stevenson Square
Official page: https://www.akse-p19.com/ 

2. Dale Grimshaw 

Dale Grimshaws' Homepage

Another amazing Mancunian artist that I always happen to stumble upon is Dale Grimshaw. Known for his use of colour and bold brush strokes, Dale has been known in the great city as a ‘hustler’ artist because he tends to use very minimal colours but make the picture still pop out of creativity! 

This London-based artist originally hails from Lancashire, where he first developed his love of painting. Though he enjoyed a successful career in galleries, he eventually shifted his focus to the world of street art, where his powerful and emotive murals have earned him widespread acclaim. 

Dale’s work is heavily influenced by his humanitarian beliefs and often features striking, figurative imagery. In recent years, he has become increasingly involved in political activism, lending his talents to the ongoing struggle for West Papua’s independence from Indonesian occupation. 

Through his art, Dale has worked to raise awareness of this important cause and support the efforts of Benny Wenda, a key figure in the campaign. Dale’s work is a testament to the power of art to inspire change and make a positive impact on the world.

Bob Marley graffiti mural Dale Grimshaw
Bob Marley graffiti mural Dale Grimshaw” (CC BY 2.0) by travelmag.com

Here, you can see one of my favourite murals from Dale known as ‘Bob Marley’. Similar to the Bowie mural, this has a lot of interesting colours and emotions all tied up in a neat little present of an art piece everyone— including myself— can enjoy. 

Bob Marley Mural by Dale Grimshaw 

Location: Timber Wharf
Official page: http://www.dalegrimshaw.com/

3. The Bee in the City Project 

The Bee in the City Project's Homepage
Image credits: Gerald England

A unique piece of art comes in the form of a sculpture that stands out in the city is the Bee in the City Project. 

But have you heard of the Bee in the City Project before? It was a fantastic event that took place in 2018 and involved over 100 unique bee sculptures that were displayed throughout the city. 

What’s really cool is that each bee was decorated by a different artist, making every one of them truly one-of-a-kind. 

The project was created by Wild in Art, a creative company that specialises in organising public art events all over the world. 

They worked alongside Manchester City Council, Manchester City Football Club, and other sponsors to make the Bee in the City Project a reality. 

From: Bee in the City
The Bee in the City Project

Not only did it attract thousands of visitors to Manchester, but it also raised money for local charities through the auction of the bee sculptures. I think it’s amazing how art can bring people together and make a positive impact on the community!

The Bee in the City by Wild in Art

Location: Manchester Central Library
Official page: https://beeinthecitymcr.co.uk/wild-in-art/

4. Qubek 

Qubek's Homepage
Image credits: Gerald England

An artist who is known to be the most famous in comparison to other Mancunian creatives on this list is Qubek— who I believe deserves every bit of recognition coming his way in Manchester. 

Meet Russ Meehan, also known as Qubek— a talented and well-known street artist in Manchester. His iconic Mancunian Bees have been buzzing around the city for a few years now, capturing the hearts of locals and visitors alike. 

Qubek

But it’s his giant tribute to the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing that truly reflects the spirit and resilience of this vibrant city.

I’m truly inspired by Russ’s dedication to his craft and his commitment to making art that resonates with the people and culture of Manchester. If you’re looking to visit these amazing mural pieces, I suggest you visit this location:

Mancunian Bees Mural by Qubek

Location: The Koffee Pot, Manchester
Official page: https://streetartnq.com/artists/qubek?page=2

5. Nomad Clan

Nomad Clan's Homepage

Quite mysterious, the Nomad Clan has always intrigued me with the amazing artwork that supersedes my expectations on what street art should look like. I’ve always loved how their murals look, and these apparently are famous for their dubious aura that make them stand out from the rest. 

Unlike most artists, the clan is a collective group of artists that paint some of the most creative pieces in the UK, not just in Manchester.

Nomad Clan, a celebrated street art duo from the UK, has gained international recognition for their impressive large-scale murals. Composed of Cbloxx and AYLO, also known as Joy Gilleard and Hayley Garner, they have a unique and mythical style that incorporates a hint of dark melancholy, which sets them apart. 

Their exceptional talents have earned them the distinction of creating the tallest mural in the UK. They have also collaborated with URBAN NATION on the One Wall project in 2017. 

From: Nomad Clan

Despite coming from different backgrounds, their individual strengths complement each other perfectly, resulting in flawless work. They have been recognized as one of the finest female duos in street art by Widewalls magazine and pegged as ‘Street art’s hottest UK talent’ by Global Street Art blog. 

Nomad Clan

Their bond of trust, confidence, and shared vision keeps them going strong. At the end of the day, their art is a medium to convey messages, provoke thought and reactions from viewers such as myself who occasionally stumbles upon their magnificent works.

Keep Going, Keep Growing by Nomad Clan

Location: Parr, St Helens
Official page: https://www.instagram.com/nomad.clan/?hl=en

6. Jay Sharples 

Deviating from the more realistic murals on this list, we have Jay Sharples who specialise in cartoonish paintings that stand out in the streets of Manchester! 

Jay is an artist from Manchester who not only creates stunning street art but also organises urban arts events. He currently serves as the curator of the Outhouse Project. 

His artwork, characterised by bold and oversized features, can be found all over the country, whether it’s his abstract pieces or his growing collection of ape and skull characters. His unique style is instantly recognizable, making his work stand out.

My personal favourite piece from him is Spider Jam because I love comic book characters turned into murals. I especially favour his artistic choice of muting the colours that makes the whole picture a bit more special in my taste. 

The Arndale by Jay Sharples

Location: Cross Street, Manchester
Official page: https://www.instagram.com/jaysharplesart/

7. Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey's Homepage

While not originally from Manchester, Shepard Fairey has a significant mural in the great city which makes him a de facto artist from Manchester in my books. His contribution artistically to the city is just as important as other people on the list. 

This artist has a fascinating backstory. Frank ‘Shepard Fairey’ is a renowned artist and graphic designer born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1970. 

He graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy in 1988 and Rhode Island School of Design in 1992 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Fairey’s passion for art started when he was young, and he used his drawings on T-shirts and skateboards. 

While working part-time at a skateboarding shop during school, he began pasting homemade stickers around the skateboard community, which sparked his interest in street art culture and graffiti. 

Fairey’s love for punk music also influenced his work, which he expressed through stencils.

Shepard Fairey

His most famous art mural in Manchester, ‘Peace Goddess’, sparks a lot of interest from people walking by, including myself! I really love it and it has a unique look from the subject that reminds me so much of the eerie smile of the Mona Lisa. 

Peace Goddess Mural by Shepard Fairey 

Location: Manchester, UK
Official page: https://www.instagram.com/obeygiant/

8. Dale vN Marshall

Dale vN Marshall's Homepage

The final entry on our list of amazing murals is Dale vN Marshall’s incredible artistic works in Manchester—which happens to be my personal favourite of the bunch! 

Dale Marshall’s artwork is a unique blend of bold, abstract paintings and drawings that serve as a representation of himself. He uses his art to depict his struggles and past experiences, as he attempts to transform his chaotic memories into a beautiful form of expression. 

Marshall’s artistic journey began as a graffiti artist on the streets of Bath and Bristol, where he faced a challenging period filled with drugs, eventually leading him to an asylum where he fought with psychosis and clinical depression. 

However, he emerged from this tumultuous time with a new passion for producing rich, textured mixed-media paintings and drawings that have earned him critical acclaim. 

His pieces feature layers of graffiti-like scribbles, text fragments, lines, and colours, applied in a range of styles from frenzied and bold to subtle and delicate, reflecting the complexities of life itself.

Dale vN Marshall

What I find most intriguing about his work is his dedication to combat mental health by creating a beautiful picture called ‘I Am Not A Child’ that aims to raise awareness of the battles of poor mental health— one I can completely fall behind to and support!

I Am Not A Child by Dale vN Marshall

Location: Manchester, UK
Official page: https://www.artsy.net/artist/dale-marshall

The Interesting Artistic Journey of Manchester

The Interesting Artistic Journey of Manchester

Out of all the interesting points about Manchester and those who wish to visit the amazing city, it’s the fact that it has a rather interesting history when it comes to the arts. 

From: The University of Manchester- Faculty of Humanities

Manchester has a rich and vibrant history of art, with a diverse range of styles and influences that have shaped the city’s cultural landscape. The city’s art scene dates back to the 19th century when the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts was established, providing a platform for local artists to showcase their work. In the early 20th century, the Manchester School of Art was founded, further cementing the city’s reputation as a hub for creative expression.

One of the most significant periods for Manchester’s art scene was the 1960s and 1970s, a time of radical social and cultural change. It was during this time that the city’s famous ‘Madchester’ music scene emerged, and a new wave of artists began to experiment with innovative forms of expression. The emergence of punk, post-punk, and the Factory Records movement inspired a new generation of artists to push the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in the art world.

Big Mural on Thomas Street, Manchester
Big Mural on Thomas Street, Manchester” (CC BY 2.0) by dullhunk

I love exploring the city with you as we go through the different artistic facets the most talented Mancunian street artists have come up with! 

Looking at these paintings and amazing sculptures makes us feel things, and it’s important that we continue to address these amazing works as our own cultural reminder that we are in an amazing city— dare I say, ‘great’ city! 

If you’re interested in more artistic murals in Manchester or simply want to explore and know more about the Great City, then visit Master Manchester for more updates on blog posts and articles coming your way!

FAQs About the Artistic Murals in Manchester

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