Inquisitive giraffes looked on with interest as sculptures of their long-necked relations visited West Midland Safari Park.
The unusual spectacle was part of celebrations marking the leading tourist attraction’s involvement as Education Partner in an exciting public art exhibition coming to Worcester.
The exhibition – titled Worcester Stands Tall – will see a trail of at least 25, beautifully decorated giraffe sculptures dotted around the city’s streets for 10 weeks in summer 2018, before each one is auctioned to raise money for St Richard’s Hospice.
Alongside the adult giraffes, there will be an array of giraffe calves on display in city venues which will be carefully crafted by creative students and teachers at Worcestershire schools.
As Education Partner in the interactive event, West Midland Safari Park will enable thousands of students to showcase their artistic talents by getting involved with the project’s learning programme.
Ivan Knezovich, Managing Director of West Midland Safari Park, said: “When we heard about the Worcester Stands Tall campaign, we knew we had to get involved as it brings together businesses, local communities and schools, all for a great cause.
“With the theme being giraffes and the park being home to a breeding herd of nine giraffes, who better to partner with the project than us! We can’t wait to see what the county’s artists and schools create.”
Schools are being invited to decorate their giraffe calves with artwork inspired by giraffe conservation and the county’s heritage and landscape – while the larger sculptures will be designed by regional and national artists.
“Everyone involved will play a valuable role in a high visibility art trail which will showcase the exceptional creative talent of young people in our county.”
The safari park will have its own giraffe sculpture on the trail, while the other giraffes are being funded by companies and individuals from across the county.
The giraffes will be auctioned in October 2018 to raise money to support the hospice’s free, ongoing care for patients living with life-limiting illnesses, their families and bereaved people across Worcestershire.
Worcester Stands Tall is a Wild in Art event brought to the city by St Richard’s Hospice.
Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art, added: “The impact of the arts on empowering and nurturing confidence, creativity and skill is well-known, and so we are delighted that through the learning programme young people in the region will have the opportunity to play a big part in a fun, colourful and spectacular art event.
“The calf sculpture is a great device to help bring to life topics across the curriculum in the classroom, and explore subjects such as local history, communities and wildlife.”
Every school across Worcestershire will be contacted in September with information about how to get involved with the project. Schools will also be able to download information from the Worcester Stands Tall website www.worcesterstandstall.co.uk
Alongside West Midland Safari Park, Worcester Stands Tall is supported by presenting partners Worcestershire Ambassadors and CrownGate. The project’s media partners are Free Radio and Worcester News.