Tamworth was packed with creative ideas and colourful activities on Saturday, October 7, when Art Attack hit Tamworth town centre offering free arts activities for people of all ages.
Art Attack attracted over 1000 people to Tamworth town centre with people of all ages and abilities joining in with the unusual ‘have a go’ art activities on offer. Nine professional artists and illustrators were on hand to guide and assist all budding artists, allowing people to express their creativity in an exciting and original way.
Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team have linked up with The Big Draw to bring the world’s biggest drawing festival to the town for the first time.
The event was organised as part of the Arts in Unusual Spaces initiative; a two-year project funded by Arts Council England to bring art to unusual spaces in Tamworth.
Throughout the day the artists were available to teach, guide and support people of all ages to find out more about unusual art and encourage anyone to pick up a pencil, paintbrush or Go-Go-Gadget arm and get creative!
A variety of activities were held throughout the town centre and in Ankerside Shopping Centre which hosted some of the events.
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 got stuck 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.
Another popular activity was Body Draw where people were able to make and wear their drawing tools and let the body create the canvas.
Plenty of people came along to help piece together Tamworth’s history with the last chance to be part of Tamworth’s largest community Mercian Mosaic.
This second phase of the project has included life size silhouettes of Anglo Saxon and modern figures taking part in daily activities, as well as life size Celtic pigs, coins and shields.
The community art project will be displayed in the Castle Grounds during a series of events taking place next year to mark the 1100-year anniversary of Aethelflaed’s death.
Tape That and Living Lines, 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. Living lines got people using their imagination to create objects, creatures and robots.
A firm favourite was Doodle Draw, which saw people falling in love with drawing again and learning the art of art of continuous-line doodling, capturing Tamworth’s wonderful architecture. Five workshops were full throughout the day.
As part of the National Big Draw initiative, everyone was invited to doodle, paint and colour-in a creation. Café’s across town were busy with customers taking part in a doodle and drink.
Finally, the Castle Grounds attracted crowds of people all rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in with ‘Land Art’, creating a large scale environmental drawing using natural materials such as wood chippings and sawdust, to produce a medieval style image of the Warrior Queen – Aethelflaed.
Afterwards people took to social media to share their praise for the event. Reviews included Ems West who said: “Thank you. My family really enjoyed this event and has certainly inspired my 3 budding artists.”
Stephanie Lennon added: “What a brilliant event, we all had a great time. Thank you!”
Diane Gilbert said: “What a wonderful event again the Arts and Events team have organised. Well done! The people of Tamworth are lucky to have you.”
Pam Clark said: “Well done Tamworth for laying on lots of free family activities throughout the town centre. The children loved it!”
Caz Sydney added: “My girls had a brilliant time thanks for hosting fingers crossed they bring it back.”
Ankerside Centre Manager Jeff Wigley, said: “I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to work with the council on their 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 Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, 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.”
More information on arts and events in Tamworth is available at: www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk