At a design selection event last month, 75 artists from across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire and beyond exhibited their proposed designs for the animal sculptures which will brighten up Luton this summer during Keech Hospice Care’s 10-week animal art trail.
This year’s trail has a tortoise and hare theme and is entitled ‘The Short Tail Trail’. A total of 90 hare and tortoise sculptures will be displayed across Luton’s key landmarks, offering Luton residents and visitors an opportunity to spot them all!
Each of the 30 large sculptures are sponsored by local businesses and organisations and will be hand-designed by a talented artist. The 60 smaller sculptures will be designed and painted by schools and community groups.
The design selection event was held at Barnfield College and saw businesses who are sponsoring sculptures invited to choose which design they’d most like to adorn their tortoise or hare.
Lynn Russell, Events Manager at Keech Hospice Care explained: ‘The Design Selection Event was an evening to display the fantastic artwork submitted by talented artists in the hope of their design work being selected by the trail sponsors/partners. Each sponsor chose their favourite three designs which will be taken forward with the successful artists.’
Some of the trail partners/sponsors supporting The Short Tail Trail include Love Luton, Luton Rising, Treacle Factory, The Mall Luton, Luton Bid and the University of Bedfordshire.
A spokesperson from Treacle Factory said: ‘The event was a fantastic opportunity to see the breadth of artistic creativity on display. Choosing our favourite three designs was tough, as they were all so good, and so different, but we finally whittled it down to the artwork we’d most like to see on our tortoise sculpture. We can’t wait to see the finished result!’
Fine artist Amy Bourbon, whose tortoise design was among those chosen to adorn a sculpture, said: ‘After taking part in the Big Trunk Trail in 2021, I’m so excited and privileged to be working with Keech Hospice Care again for the new Short Tail Trail. I was thrilled to help raise £13,000 with my elephant sculptures and I can’t wait to bring two handsome tortoises to life for the trail in the summer!’
The artists whose designs were selected have now been informed and will begin bringing their designs to life from March when painting starts.
Saturday 6 July marks the start of The Short Tail Trail which runs until Thursday 12 September. At the end of the trail, there will be a last chance to see all the sculptures during the Farewell Weekend, before the small sculptures are returned to their schools/community groups for their forever home; and the large sculptures head off to auction to raise money for Keech Hospice Care.
A short video introducing The Short Tail Trail is available to watch here.