Louth Art Trail Action Group sets challenge

A newly-launched Louth Art Trail Action Group is challenging readers to hit the trail and seek out the sculptures, get inspired and draw, paint or photograph the artworks and their locations.

Beech Leaf, Howard Bowcott. 2002 Louth Art Trail
Beech Leaf, Howard Bowcott. 2002 Louth Art Trail

All entries will be shared on Facebook and the winning entries will be framed and displayed in a local gallery.

The winners will receive prizes including art materials, a sculpture session and a food and drink gift hamper thanks to kind donations from local businesses such as Beaumonts Delicatessen, Crackpot, For Your Walls, John Taylors, and Mckinnells Photography.

There are three categories: two children’s painting, drawing or photography competitions, under 11s and 11 – 16 years; and a 17-plus photography competition.

'Hit The Trail' poster.

Entries are required by September 20, and the winners will be announced on October 1. Full details are available on the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/loutharttrailactiongroup

The Louth Art Trail Action group is an open community group made up of representatives from local organisations and individuals working together to encourage engagement with the works on the Louth Art Trail, and art in Louth more generally.

Participating organisations include Zero Degrees Festival, Louth Museum and Louth Civic Trust along with town and district councillors and interested residents. The group has also sought advice from the Louth Art Trail’s original commissioning agencies.

The Louth Art Trail was officially launched in July 2002, as a £200,000 project funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of England and European Regional Development Fund with support from the town, district and county councils.

The works were inspired by the historical and cultural significance of the town with the aim of encouraging the discovery and understanding of their different locations and attract visitors to the town.

The trail includes the stainless steel Wave and Wind Indicator works by artist Simon Percival celebrating the River Lud and Louth Canal; the Meridian bronze sculptures and text which were the result of a collaboration between sculptor Laurence Edwards and book artist Les Bicknell; and the four leaf sculptures in Westgate fields by sculptor Howard Bowcott.

Over the last 20 years, the works have become part of the cultural landscape, loved by residents and visitors alike - but not all public art is designed to last a lifetime.

The leaf sculptures are now requiring decommissioning, and it was the prospect of this removal that inspired the creation of the Louth Art Trail Action Group.

Councillor Eileen Ballard chaired the Louth Art Trail Management Team, and is now part of the Action Group.

She said: “It may have been the sad news about the leaves in Westgate fields that has brought this group together, but the prospect of renewing our appreciation and engagement with the Art Trail, of shining a light on the town’s artistic heritage as a whole and potentially inspiring an appetite for the commissioning of new works, has brought back that feeling of excitement about what we can achieve as a community here in Louth”.

For more information on the competitions and membership of the group, visit the official Facebook Page at: www.facebook.com/groups/loutharttrailactiongroup

The group can also be contacted by email on [email protected]