Artist inspires schools and community groups ahead of sculpture trail

Last week, representatives from sixty schools and community groups, who will be decorating a small hare or tortoise sculpture for Keech Hospice Care’s Short Tail Trail, gathered at the University of Bedfordshire for a special design inspiration event.
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The animal trail is set to raise vital funds for the charity while brightening up Luton and providing a fun, bold, colourful and family-friendly event this summer.

Annie Laughrin, Art and Learning Manager from Wild in Art, creators of innovative art trails, presented different ideas and technical guidelines to help the schools and groups create their own individual designs, which will be showcased on the trail.

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Lynn Russell, Keech’s Events Manager, said:“The sixty small sculptures designed and painted by the schools and community groups will be seen by thousands of people this summer, and will feature in the trail along with thirty larger hares and tortoises being sponsored by local businesses and designed by professional artists, including some who are local artists within Luton.

Schools and community groups gather for design inspiration event ahead of hospice's Short Tail TrailSchools and community groups gather for design inspiration event ahead of hospice's Short Tail Trail
Schools and community groups gather for design inspiration event ahead of hospice's Short Tail Trail

“The last trail we did back in 2021 — The Big Trunk Trail — raised over £230k for Keech Hospice Care, and we have even higher fundraising ambitions for this year! The Short Tail Trail is a major event in the area and I hope the design inspiration afternoon helped the schools and community groups realise just how important and appreciated their contribution is.”

Students from Challney High School for Girls are among those designing a sculpture. Deputy Headteacher Nic Ponsonby said:

“We’re thrilled to be involved in this wonderful community project, supporting our local hospice, in the heart of our community — a cause which is close to all our hearts. We can’t wait to see what designs our students will come up with!”

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Now it’s over to the schools and community groups to get to work on their own hares and tortoises in readiness for the trail!

The Short Tail Trail runs from 6 July to 12 September. During this time, all ninety sculptures will be positioned around Luton town centre and local parks, giving residents and visitors the chance to find them all.

At the end of the trail, there will be a last chance to see all the sculptures together during the Farewell Weekend at the end of September, before they are returned to their schools/community groups for their forever home. The large sculptures will be auctioned off in October to raise money for Keech Hospice Care.

A short video introducing The Short Tail Trail is available to watch here.