Happy trails! The swans are coming

We’d like to say a big thank you to all our ‘swan’sors (sponsors) and artists who have sent us lovely messages of support since we pressed the ‘pause’ button on our outdoor art trail due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

A special thank you goes to Burton’s Brewhouse Arts Centre, who have helped us so much and have now had a key role in our exciting announcement that (drum roll!) the swans are coming to Burton in August!

This week we have been able to re-start work on assembling our flock of super-sized, sculpted swans at the Brewhouse and contacting artists to arrange their painting work.

East Staffordshire’s first interactive, outdoor art trail, will bring a big splash of colour to Burton’s open spaces and raise funds for the YMCA.
Project manager Tilley Bancroft, from the award-winning Red Door Studios, says: “We’re delighted that we can now safely plan for the trail to run for 10 weeks with the original start date put back to the second week of August.
“The swan-song auction of the sculptures, to raise money for Burton’s YMCA, will still happen at the end of October and will take place at the National Brewery Centre.”

An original element of the plan was the Cygnet Project, which would allow an artist to visit schools and help pupils decorate their own baby swans. Tilley said: “We are currently contacting schools to organise re-scheduling these workshops. There won’t be time for these to be finished and displayed at the same time as the outdoor art trail, but the really exciting news is that the Brewhouse has agreed to host an exhibition towards the end of the year when all the cygnets decorated in schools will be on public display.”
During lockdown, work has continued on the mobile app, which you will be able to download in August when the trail launches. This means that as you enjoy a fun, free day out walking the swan trail you will be able to unlock offers, surprises or rewards from the businesses that have sponsored swans.

The swans, which are 1.5 metres tall, will sit on a plinth inscribed with the details of their sponsor, or sponsors. Information on the swan plinths, and on the printed swan trail map, will remind people of the importance of maintaining social distancing while they are visiting the swans and maybe taking swan selfies.

Adam Bates, marketing manager from Hardy Signs, one of our fabulous ‘swan’sors said: “The Burton Swans initiative offered instant appeal to Hardy Signs. We recognised the project as a great opportunity to celebrate creativity, heritage and community spirit. We’re delighted to be involved and we are sure the project will have hugely positive impact, inspiring pride across the town. It’s also fitting that, in the process, the project will help those in our community who need it most through the incredible work of the Burton & District YMCA.”

Look out for more news about the launch on our social media channels, search for ‘Burton Swans‘ on FacebookInstagram and Twitter