TAMWORTH town centre came alive with colour and creativity on Saturday, October 12, as the popular Art Attack returned with a splat for the third year running.
Hundreds of people of all ages took part in the variety of free arty activities running at five locations throughout Ankerside Shopping Centre, under the Town Hall and in the Castle Grounds.
Organised by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team in conjunction with Ankerside Shopping Centre, local professional artists and South Staffordshire College, the event offered people the chance to have a go at art with a difference.
Activities in Ankerside Shopping Centre included pendulum painting, ultra-violet art in the dark, painting with remote control cars, bubble art, creating art with colourful tape and Spirograph drawings.
Outside, budding artists were able to let their creative juices flow, creating clay models in the Castle Grounds.
The activities were again led by local professional artist Andy Nash, with artists Hannah Noble, Chris Titley and Charis McNerlin, and supported by a keen team of 25 art and design students from South Staffordshire College, where Andy is a lecturer.
There was no shortage of people getting crafty as the event used up 70 rolls of tape, 35kg of modelling clay, more than 200 sheets of paper and 20 litres of paint.
This year, youngsters were also able to make unique lanterns with Tamworth artist Maggie Carney to carry in this year’s Christmas lantern parade. This will form a key part of the festive lights switch-on taking place on Sunday, November 24. Anyone interested in joining the parade will have another opportunity to create a lantern on October 24 or November 16.
Cllr John Chesworth, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Operational Services, said: “Art Attack is a great event, giving families the chance to try something new and creative, completely free of charge. Whether they’d purposely visited as they had been to a previous event, or stumbled upon the activity, lots of people got involved, and it was really good to see the town buzzing with activity. As well as encouraging people to get arty, Art Attack is also a real boost to the town centre, giving people that extra special element to their visit to Tamworth.”
Andy Nash said: “It was a great day once again; it was consistently busy with more visitors than in previous years. The creativity was relentless – which is just how we like it. The event is gaining momentum, and people are loving it. This year, 25 art and design students supported the event by leading some of the activities to count towards their work experience requirements for the course. This included a new activity of clay modelling in the Castle Grounds, which was absolutely brilliant; they took real ownership of it and embraced it.
“As well as encouraging members of the public to get artistic, Art Attack is also really important behind the scenes as it gives the art students some relevant hands-on work experience. It is through fantastic, real-life opportunities like that our learners get the competitive edge and increased confidence when it comes to progressing their futures, either directly into creative industries or onto HE courses at university.
“I am extremely proud of all my students’ achievements and professionalism on the day.”
Mark Burbridge, manager at Ankerside Shopping Centre, said: “Another fantastic Art Attack event has come to a close and it surpassed all expectations on many levels.
“We welcomed a remarkable array of young children and their families who transformed the shopping centre unit into a vibrant wonderland at the ‘art in the dark’ craft sessions, as well as making their mark on other activities around the town – we have been very impressed by the talent on show.
“Art Attack proved yet again to be an excellent way for families to spend quality time together. The fun stakes were high, and this was reflected in a brilliant turnout in which Ankerside enjoyed a notable year-on-year footfall increase. Thank you to all who came and made it a resounding success.”