Rory Mullen, Portrait of Chancellor Jackie Kay, 2015. C-type print. Image courtesy of the artist.

Open Call: Portrait Commission for University of Salford Students, Winter 2023

The University of Salford Art Collection are seeking BA or MA students from the School of Art, Media and Creative Technology, to produce 2 new portraits – one of outgoing Vice-Chancellor Helen Marshall and one of new Chancellor Lucy Meacock. 

Like many Universities, Salford has a long tradition of commissioning portraits of Chancellors, Vice Chancellors and other important University leaders. Historically this has been externally commissioned oil portraits – however in 2014 the process was reinvented to celebrate the talent and creativity of our students.  

Each commission includes an artist fee of £1000 and a budget of up to £500 towards production costs, plus project support from the Art Collection Team.  

The successful candidates will be expected to work closely with the team to develop a fitting concept and final image. We are seeking 2 dedicated and motivated students, who can work professionally and efficiently to given deadlines. The team are open to both traditional and experimental approaches to capturing a portrait. Previous awards have focused on photographic work, however we will consider other mediums where appropriate. The final work will be displayed on campus and be acquired into the University’s permanent collection. 

Previous awards include Jamie Wilson (2014, BA Visual Arts), Claudia Alonso (2015, BA Visual Arts) and Rory Mullen (2015, MA Visual Arts) – see images below. 

Jamie Wilson, Irene Khan (2014). Image courtesy of photographer. Photograph of side profile of a woman (Irene Khan) with plants in the background.
Jamie Wilson, Irene Khan, 2014. Photographic Lightbox. Image courtesy the artist.
Jackie Kay by Claudia Alonso (2015)
Claudia Alonso, Jackie Kay, 2015. Digital Photograph. Image courtesy the artist.
Rory Mullen, Portrait of Chancellor Jackie Kay, 2015. C-type print. Image courtesy the artist.

About Helen Marshall: 

Professor Helen Marshall joined the University in 2013 as Deputy Vice Chancellor, then became Vice Chancellor in 2015. She leads the Executive Team, who manage and oversee the running of the University and the effective delivery of strategic objectives – everything from academic development and student experience to business and enterprise partnerships. She is a Professor in Law, with a background in education. She retires in Summer 2023.  Find out more at: 

About Lucy Meacock: 

Lucy Meacock joined the University in Summer 2022 as the seventh Chancellor. This role is the ‘ceremonial head’ of the institution – presiding at Graduation ceremonies, representing the University externally, and advocating our mission, vision and values. Lucy has forged a successful career in the media, including over 30 years presenting on Granada Reports for ITV.  Find out more at:

About the University of Salford Art Collection: 

The University of Salford Art Collection has existed for over 50 years, and includes more than 800 modern and contemporary artworks. It exists for the benefit of students, staff and the general public, and is displayed both on campus – e.g. at the New Adelphi Exhibition Gallery – as well as regionally, nationally and internationally through partnerships and loans. We commission new work, support artist development, contribute to teaching and learning, programme exhibitions, events and engagement opportunities – and more.  Find out more at: 

Key details: 


  • Applications by midnight, Friday 3rd February  
  • Shortlisting week commencing 6th February 
  • Interviews TBC mid-February 
  • Commission takes places February to April 
  • Final submission by end May 
  • Production/printing June 
  • Unveiling/display – July 

£1000 fee (Approx 5 x days at £200) plus up to £500 towards production (e.g. printing, framing). 
Students must have the right to work in the UK.

How to apply: 

Please supply: 
1) A short statement explaining your interest in this opportunity and how you might approach the commission (half page or 500 words maximum) 

2) Your artist CV 

3) Up to 4 images to support your application 

4) A link to your website (if applicable) 

  • Please send your application in standard file formats (e.g. Word, PDF and JPEG).  
  • Please do not send any additional documents. Do not send very large files or Wetransfer/Dropbox transfers, as these may not reach our inbox.   
  • Include the subject line “Application for Vice Chancellor Portrait 2023”. 

No late submissions will be accepted. Please get in touch if you have any access needs regarding the application. 

All applications (and any enquiries) to be emailed to: 

Art Collection Assistant – Rowan Pritchard – on 

Click here, to download this information as a PDF.