Olympic Inspired Summer of Art 2012 is Officially Launched!
11 May 2012
With Olympic 2012 Games less than 100 days away, the Essex Summer of Art 2012 forms part of The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, a four year programme involving young people and communities around the UK in a wide range of cultural activity in the run up to the Games.
To celebrate the Games this summer, the Essex Summer of Art will join cultural organisations, artists and creative producers across the East in presenting inspiring Olympic-themed artworks from some of the county’s most talented artists.
With over 500 artists, 450 venues and 20 art trails from May to November, exhibitions, workshops and activities will take inspiration from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Artists taking part in the project have already added their creative talents to a number of Cultural Olympiad projects that will conclude with the spectacular Sparks Will Fly finale on 6th July.
Last year, 179,635 people enjoyed the Summer of Art across 284 venues. The events brought in 32,565 new visitors to the county and generated £1,298,917 for the Essex economy.
Summer of Art will encourage all people to explore the county with art trails that range from the traditional to the innovative, in some of the county’s most diverse and spectacular locations. From painting, photography and ceramics to textile and sculpture, every art trail will offer something different and unique.
Launching this weekend at the Hadleigh Old Fire Station, pupils from Westwood Junior School transformed photos of themselves into art works for the Olympic inspired ‘Dress Hadleigh’ Project. The Hadleigh Voices Choir also performed for the first time and Essex County Councillors Jeremy Lucas and Stephen Castle in addition to Councillor Challis, Leader of Castlepoint Borough Council, provided inspirational and celebratory speeches.
Events in the coming weeks include: Art on the Railings in Southend-on-sea which is taking place on the first weekend of every month, the Gosfield Jubilee and Olympic Scarecrow Trail and the Jaywick Martello Tower and Coastal Open.
Essex Summer of Art is an initiative run by Firstsite in partnership with Essex County Council and participating District, Borough Councils, Unitary Authority as well as the many Essex art trails.
County Councillor Jeremy Lucas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Culture said: “I would encourage all Essex residents to visit the exciting art trails and it’s great to see such a creative and energetic artistic culture across our county. Summer of Art would not be taking place without the efforts of our partners such as Firstsite and those who have organised the trails.”
County Councillor Stephen Castle, Cabinet Member for Education, Lifelong Learning and the 2012 Games said: “Summer of Art is a wonderful event for the county. And with its London 2012 theme this year, those involved are playing their part in creating a lasting legacy for the county. It's a really inclusive initiative, with many of the county's schools also taking part in the art trail activities. I’m looking forward to seeing the work over the coming months.”
Councillor Pam Challis, Leader of Castlepoint Borough Council said: “Summer of Art is a great Olympic inspired project that will give all residents the opportunity to see some truly fantastic pieces of work. The launch event at Hadleigh Old Fire Station – part of our Legacy of the Olympics - is a great way to kick off a remarkable season that people will remember for generations to come.”