Scores of artists were painting on the streets of Gloucester (some of them literally) this last weekend for Marketing Gloucester’s second WSP Art In The City event. A one-day outdoor live competition took place on the Saturday whilst an international pavement art contest spanned the entire weekend.
The live outdoor painting competition attracting painters, illustrators and mixed media artists to some of Gloucester’s more famous landmarks such as the historic Docks and the Cathedral while some elected to depict bustling street life in the city centre. Abigail Waddell won first prize of £1,500 for her intricate mixed media scene around Gloucester Cathedral. Runner up was Sharon White who won £500 for landscape of Victoria Basin. This year, organisers Marketing Gloucester offered up £750 for the Student Prize to encourage young and upcoming talent with 13-year-old Valeria Michael winning, watched on by her proud mother and sister. The competition entries were judged by a panel including artists PJ Crook, Swarez, Russell Haines and Richard Parker Crook.
The Coloured Earth International Pavement Art Competition, organised in partnership with Urban Canvas, captivated onlookers as King’s Square was transformed into a sea of murals and anamorphic street art. Visitors posed next to optical illusions featuring Charlie Chaplin, a tiger alongside 2D images of Mary Poppins and even a Gloucestershire Old Spots piglet.
The winners of the competition were:
Frenchman Tomax Poum won with his Aztec heads whilst Christine Edwards from Crewe came second with her sea life in the ‘original’ category. Maureen Karlhoff from the Netherlands won the ‘copy art’ category with her Girl with a Pearl Earring’ piece, with Mexico’s Abraham Burciaga coming second with his homage to Harry Potter. The ‘people’s prizes’ were handed out to Paris-based Romanian Truaca Christian with his 3D Charlie Chaplain in first place, and Dean Tweedy (from Borth, Wales) with his 3D tiger taking the runner’s up spot.
Catherine McMahon from Urban Canvas, said: “Gloucester was a fantastic place for the artists to come to with its rich history and culture. King’s Square was a great space for us and the artists were very impressed with the reaction from the locals asking about where they were from and what techniques they used. Really encouraging were the 35 entries in Sunday’s junior chalk art competition which all followed on from interest in a workshop we ran on the Saturday so this bodes well for the future.”
Elsewhere, Gaudi-inspired, stilt-walking dragons and other street entertainers added to a creative atmosphere as members of the public had the chance to try their hand at caricatures, kite-making, portrait painting, street photography and many more popular workshops.
Karen Pearson, events and operations manager at Art In The City organisers Marketing Gloucester, said: “We’re incredibly happy with the second ever WSP Art In The City and ecstatic that we could bring a more international flavour to the festival with contestants from France, Italy, Romania and Mexico alongside homegrown talent. We had more people out on the street participating in the competition and local art groups like Artists Collaborate had the opportunity to involve the public with their projects. It was an inspiring event and seeing the reaction of the winners and the camaraderie between all the artists just underlines that.”
Lise Noakes, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure at Gloucester City Council, said: “It was great to see so much art of many different styles and mediums being created in the centre of Gloucester this weekend. It was extraordinary to see the paintings from Saturday’s competition – how can such great pieces be produced in such a short time? The winning pieces were stunning.”
Art In The City is part of SoMAC and is sponsored by WSP Solicitors with funding from Gloucester City Council and support from King’s Walk Shopping Centre and Eastgate Shopping Centre.
For more information contact Ben Hau at firstname.lastname@example.org