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Tamworth gets creative as Art Attack’s Big Draw hits the town

Tamworth was packed with creative ideas and colourful activities on Saturday, October 6, when Art Attack hit the town centre offering free arts activities for people of all ages.

The event attracted over 1000 people to Tamworth town centre with people of all abilities joining in with the unusual ‘have a go’ art activities on offer. Art Attack is linked to the international Big Draw Festival campaign and brings a huge variety of free arts activities to the town, to encourage people of all ages to get creative.

Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team and Ankerside Shopping Centre linked up with ‘The Big Draw Festival 2018’ to bring the world’s biggest drawing festival to the town for a second year running. The Tamworth event was so successful in its first year that the Arts & Events team scooped the Big Draw’s International ‘Community Participatory and Libraries Award’ for 2017 and are hoping to defend that title this year.

Throughout the day professional artists, illustrators and volunteers from South Staffordshire College were available to guide and assist all budding artists, allowing people to express their creativity in an exciting and original way. Activities included paint ball art, swinging a pendulum paint pourer, art in the dark and painting with remote control cars. Thinking about the theme – ‘Play’- participants were encouraged to ‘free draw’ as well as considering colours, shapes and lines.

Underneath the Town Hall, urban canvas offered traditional street art for anyone who wanted to grab a comfy cushion and get stuck in to drawing on the pavement with a stick of chalk. Young children joined in along with adults to create a colourful scene across the street.

Ankerside was full of people looking to join in with the various activities on offer. Art in the dark involved ultra violet painting, creating colourful lines, shapes and patterns, illuminated by black-light, fluorescent balloons and glow sticks. Tape That attracted all ages to join the fun using colourful electrical tape to line the walls, ceilings and floor to create bright shapes and a giant artwork. New for 2018 ‘Big Draw, Play Store’ offered a mix of unusual creative activities including Spiro style, pendulum painting and the paint pot pit – that used a converted remote controlled car to ‘paint pit-stops’.

Adults and children also enjoyed bubble pop, paint ball and paint racing, creating amazing and beautiful painting using bubble blowers, paint balls thrown at targets and racing paint down a wall to make a rainbow cascade.

Afterwards people took to social media to share their praise for the event. Reviews included:

Suzanne Clark: said “We had such a great day with all the art activities. A huge thank you and congratulations for making it such a fab event for Tamworth.”

Lorna Paton said: “Thanks so much to all the volunteers. What a great event. Kids had a great time.” Pam Clark said: “It was excellent.”

Ems West added: “We had a great time today.”

Elouise, a young lady who attended the event, very excitedly stated: “I’ve waited for this all year.”

Ankerside Centre manager Mark Burbridge, said: “I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to work with the council on its great Art Attack event. It proved hugely popular with shoppers and was a real draw for visitors in the centre. We saw some brilliant pieces of art being created throughout Saturday and I’m delighted that we were able to play host to the innovative event.

“The feedback from visitors was great and everyone at the centre is looking forward to teaming up with the council on activities like this in the future.”

Members of the public are now being encouraged to vote for their favourite art piece in the Big Draw competition at: www.thebigdraw.org/vote.

Throughout the year, The Big Draw demonstrates the social, economic and health benefits that drawing can bring and provides opportunities for everyone to access them.

Cllr John Chesworth, Cabinet member for Culture and Operational Services, said: “The Tamworth Arts and Events team received some lovely feedback. I know they had lots of fun organising this event and working with the talented artists and volunteers. The sight of children’s faces lighting up as they participated in activities with the family really made the whole event come together.

“Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this new and exciting event to Tamworth which offered a unique and interesting opportunity for people to take part in art – with a difference. I look forward to see if Tamworth can win an award again for the second year running.”

More information on arts and events in Tamworth is available at: www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk

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