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Tamworth Art Attack

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Get Out And Get Drawing As Town Comes Under Attack From Art
People in Staffordshire are being urged to get creative this weekend when the centre of Tamworth comes under attack from art! The countdown has begun to a host of free arts activities for people of all ages on Saturday 7 October , when Art Attack comes to Tamworth town centre for the day. Tamworth Borough Council's Arts & Events team is linking up with The Big Draw to bring the world's biggest drawing festival to the town for the first time. The event has been 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.

Art Attack
Create an Urban Canvass on the pavement

Art Attack is open to all ages and abilities, offering people the opportunity to 'have a go' at art with a difference. Professional artists and illustrators will be on hand to guide and assist all budding artists, allowing people to express their creativity in an exciting and original way. Nine artists will join Art Attack for a packed day of arts events and activities linked to the world's biggest drawing festival. They will be available throughout the day 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.

Locations of activities across the town include an Urban Canvas project underneath the historic Town Hall from 10am to 5pm, when anyone who wants to pick up a stick of chalk can have a go drawing on the pavement.

Andy Nash
Body Draw artist Andy Nash

Ankerside Shopping Centre offers Art in the Dark when people of all ages are invited to step inside the dark and help brighten up the space with ultra violet painting which will be illuminated by black-light, fluorescent balloons and glow sticks. There will also be the chance to take part in Body Draw, using wearable drawing and painting accessories designed and constructed to use the whole body as a drawing tool. The accessories include shoes and gloves with attached colour markers fixed to each finger and toe - before adding a Go-Go-Gadget metre long extension arm.

Further projects include Mercian Mosaic which has already seen hundreds of people decorate 1,400 individual pieces of mosaic that will make up the final image. The first phase involved elements such as flower beds, fish, and river scenes, while the second phase will include 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 Tamworth Castle Grounds during a series of events taking place next year to mark the 1100-year anniversary of Lady Aethelflaed's death.

Art Attack
Create an image with electrical tape

Other activities include Tape That, with people invited to use colourful electrical tape to create colourful shapes and a giant artwork; Graffiti Big Draw! where a wall takes the place of the canvas; Doodle Draw for over 16 year olds in which artists can fall in love with drawing again by learning the art of continuous-line doodling, capturing Tamworth's wonderful architecture. Five workshops will be running throughout the day.

People are also welcome to Drink and Doodle as part of the National Big Draw initiative, with doodling sessions around the town at AB's Café, Costa, Nibbles and The Tudor House. Take a photo of your art and upload it on Facebook and Instagram with #Artattack #Tamworth #thebigdraw. Meanwhile, the Castle Grounds are hosting Land Art with visitors of all ages invited to join in large scale environmental drawing using natural materials such as wood chippings and sawdust, to produce a medieval style image of Lady Aethelflaed, weather permitting.

Art Attack
Create an environmental drawing of Mercia's Lady Aethelflaed

Kate Mason, Director of The Big Draw, said: "We welcome anyone to attend or host an event as part of The Big Draw Festival, and we're delighted that Tamworth will be joining our international community celebrating the universal language of drawing this October. We encourage everyone - no matter what their age or experience - to take part in Tamworth's impressive programme of events. You never know where a simple drawing may lead, but it's guaranteed to make you feel good, connect you with others and give you a new perspective of the place you live. We can't wait to see what you come up with!" The Big Draw (formerly The Campaign for Drawing) was founded in 2000 and is an arts education charity that promotes visual literacy and the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning.

Art Attack
Try your hand at doodling Tamworth's landmarks

Councillor Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council's Cabinet member for Environment & Culture, said: "This new and exciting event to Tamworth offers a unique and interesting opportunity for people to take part in art – with a difference. I am delighted that the Arts & Events team have linked up with The Big Draw to create Art Attack as part of the Arts in Unusual Spaces project. It will allow people of all ages to contribute to community art and try something new and creative, while celebrating the town's heritage. I really hope that everyone will get involved and enjoy taking part in all the new art activities" All activities take place between 10am and 5pm. All ages are welcome, but children must be accompanied by an adult. More information on arts and events in Tamworth is available here.
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Why? Great Chance To Discover Your Inner Artist
When: Saturday 7 October
Phone: 01827 709618
Where: Ankerside Shopping Centre, George Street, Tamworth B79 7LG
Cost: Free
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by Tony Collins on 19/09/2018
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