Leigh Art Trail returns and it’s a kids' special!

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Our town is about to go art mad as the Leigh Art Trail returns on Saturday June 8 for its 23rd edition, promising more ways than ever for children to take part in a week-long celebration of creativity.

This year the Trail launches the Children’s Art Trail (CAT), while a massive competition for local primary schools sees more than 1,000 entries displayed at Saint Pierre School on Leigh Road.

Families should head to Leigh Library, Two Tree Gallery, 70 The Broadway or Saint Pierre to collect a CAT pack, which highlights some special venues for children to visit and space to answer questions about the amazing art on show there.

Organiser Julie Parker explained: “Kids can visit the venues in any order they like and do the whole lot in one day, or spread it over the week. Then they drop their sheet back to us for the chance to win a prize!

“Look out, too, for the CAT selfie points along the route. Trail artists have donated 12 fun CAT stands to use as props by anyone who fancies sharing photos of themselves enjoying the Trail.”

Children from primary schools across the area have been busy in the build-up to the Art Trail with competition entries on the subject “Landscapes of Leigh”. Their creations have poured in, much to the delight of exhibition curator Jadie Oberholzer. 

The Saint Pierre art teacher said: “It’s shaping up to be a lovely event and a huge celebration of the arts. The response has been superb. We’ve got painting, drawing, collage, 2D mixed media and photography - more than 1,000 pieces!

“We encouraged the children to use their favourite places and activities, historical landmarks, local culture and especially nature as sources of inspiration. The results are wonderful and I’d urge people to come and see for themselves.”

Entries have been received from pupils at Barons Court, North Street, Chalkwell, Friars, Fairways, Blenheim, Darlinghurst, Edwards Hall and Saint Michael’s. 

The giant display at Saint Pierre is open to the public on the weekends at either end of Trail week (June 8-9 and June 15-16, 10am-5pm Saturdays, 11am-3pm Sundays). Free art workshops for children are available at the school during the same hours.

Among other surprises awaiting visitors is the biggest public art installation the town has ever seen in the Library Gardens. The Leigh Art Trail’s Wendy Scotland said: “That’s the work of Andrew Haines, who brought us the incredible Sculpture Street in 2017. 

“I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in the Library Gardens. He’s not given us much idea what it is, other than it’s big!”

  • The Children’s Art Trail hubs are Leigh Library, Two Tree Gallery, 70 The Broadway and Saint Pierre School. Drop by to collect a CAT pack any time during Trail week (June 8-15).

  • Entries by primary school pupils for the “Landscapes of Leigh” competition are on display at Saint Pierre School and can be viewed on the weekends of June 8-9 and 15-16 (10am-5pm Saturdays, 11am-3pm Sundays).

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