After the success of ‘Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade’ in Maidstone last year, Heart of Kent Hospice has announced a new art trail for 2024, with none other than the fabulous family favourite, Shaun the Sheep.
The new trail has been named ‘Shaun in the Heart of Kent’ and will see up to 50 large individually decorated Shaun sculptures placed around the parks, town centre and river walks in Maidstone and the surrounding areas.
Created by multi award-winning animation studio, Aardman, ‘Shaun,’ who has been nominated for two Academy Awards® for his starring roles in ‘Shaun the Sheep The Movie’ and ‘A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon’, will be heading to Kent in 2024 as part of a new free walking trail. There will also be little Shaun sculptures which will form the Learning Programme, designed to engage with schools and youth groups by encouraging them to join in this ewe-nique event.
Heart of Kent Hospice, in partnership with Wild in Art and Aardman, is now inviting local companies and community groups to sponsor a Shaun the Sheep sculpture. Sponsors will then choose a design and the chosen artists each decorate a sculpture ensuring that each ‘Shaun’ is completely unique.
As with the previous Elmer trail, there will be an exciting fundraising auction after the ‘Shaun in the Heart of Kent’ trail finishes with the individual ‘Shaun’ sculptures auctioned off to raise vital funds for Heart of Kent Hospice.
The Hospice’s Chief Executive Rachel Street said: “The trail will be designed to offer a fun day out for families and friends of all ages and will also connect the local community to our wonderful Hospice.
“This new trail will showcase the wealth of artistic talent in the area, whilst positively contributing to the economic, social and cultural life of Maidstone and the surrounding areas.
“In 2021 ‘Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade’ not only saw thousands of people take part in the trail but also raised vital funds for their local Hospice. The event also contributed to an increase in referrals and awareness about the care and support we provide. The Hospice Team also benefited from the opportunity to engage with more local businesses and schools.”
Today, Heart of Kent Hospice has announced that ‘Maidstone Borough Council’ will be the Official Presenting Partner for ‘Shaun the Sheep in the Heart of Kent’.
Cllr David Burton, Leader of Maidstone Borough Council said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this project with Heart of Kent Hospice. We will be the Official Presenting Partner and are very pleased to once again be part of this important public art trail when it comes to the County Town of Kent in 2024. We all saw the fantastic positive impact both for our residents, visitors and the economy from attracting people to the area which brought benefits to local businesses whilst also raising funds for the Hospice. We are very much looking forward to welcoming Shaun to the Heart of Kent very soon.”
Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director and Co-founder Wild in Art said, “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Aardman and to be working with the team at Heart of Kent Hospice once again, on this exciting art trail which will bring this internationally renowned character to Maidstone in Kent. I have no doubt that Shaun the Sheep will capture the imaginations of residents and visitors alike, while helping to raise vital funds for Heart of Kent Hospice. With your support we can create an event that will have significant impact during the summer of 2024.”
Peter Lord, Co-founder of Aardman, said, “We’re delighted that our much-loved character Shaun the Sheep will be supporting the work of the excellent charity Heart of Kent Hospice with this new art trail. Shaun has been entertaining fans and families for 15 years with his mischievous farmyard adventures and now he’s coming to Maidstone to bring fun and joy to the streets for residents and visitors to enjoy. We’re looking forward to working with sponsors and talented artists to make sure that this will be a truly inspiring and entertaining art trail.”
For more information about Shaun in the Heart of Kent, including corporate and sponsorship opportunities, follow the trail on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @shaunheartkent and by using the hashtag #shaunheartkent