Have you herd about the new North East art trail?

An art trail raising funds for charity can be found in Whitley Bay.

Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 9:45 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 10:26 am
Lesley Robinson, Joanne Wishart, Steph Boulton with the Elmer sculpture.

Elmer’s Great North Parade features a number of patchwork sculptures placed at popular landmarks around the North East.

And one, called ‘Elephish’, can be found outside the Spanish City until November 1 thanks to the trail’s learning programme partner First Class Supply, based in the town.

Elmer’s Great North Parade is part of the St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice campaign in partnership with Wild in Art, and sees individually designed Elmer the Patchwork Elephant sculptures at public spaces throughout the North East.

It is a follow up to the hugely popular and successful Great North Snowdogs art trail.

Elephish was designed and painted by Cullercoats artist Joanne Wishart in keeping with Whitley Bay’s coastline.

Joanne said: “The Great North Elmer Parade is a really special project to be part of and for St Oswald’s Hospice such a great cause.

“It’s always nice to hear peoples’ reactions to your work especially when it is on display at such a large-scale event.

“The First Class Supply team are so passionate about my design and I wish I could have recorded their reaction when I revealed the final painted Elmer to them – it was the sort of reaction you want to bottle up and keep forever.

“I love that the design they have chosen relates to the sea and our beautiful coastline.

“As a mum of primary school aged children it was nice to work with a local business that works closely with schools and encourages children into the arts by sponsoring such a great project.”

As part of the programme, First Class Supply has sponsored a large Elmer and gifted six small Elmers to a selection of schools across North Tyneside, enabling the schools to design and decorate their very own Elmer.

Lesley Robinson, director at First Class Supply, said: “As a local Whitley Bay company, it’s wonderful to have our Elmer based at Spanish City.

“The whole First Class Supply team are thrilled to be involved in Elmer’s Great North Parade and we are very proud to be the trail’s Learning Programme Partner.

“St Oswald’s does so much to support local children, young adults, carers and families, and we hope that our support will help them reach their hoped-for target of £500,000.”

Jane Hogan, project lead at Elmer’s Great North Parade, said: “We were so delighted to have First Class Supply as our Learning Programme Partner.

“Their knowledge of the region’s education sector coupled with their enthusiasm and passion for the north east community makes them our perfect partners, and they have already been a passionate ambassador for the trail by helping to spread the word.

“We are proud to be working with them throughout the eleven week trail.”

Keen explorers will also have the opportunity to spot some of the other elephants in the herd which can be spotted around the North East and sponsored by a number of local businesses.