There once was a herd of elephants, young, old, tall and small. All except one, who was very different.
So goes the story of Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, beloved by children the world over.
And Maidstone gears up for a free sculpture trail celebrating David McKee’s classic picture-book next summer, organisers are calling on artists from across Kent to put forward their very own, unique Elmer designs.
The project will be the first of its kind to come to Maidstone, and aims to raise awareness and vital funds for the Heart of Kent Hospice in Aylesford.
It will feature a series of 40 sculptures of the much-loved children’s character, each designed by a different artist.
Organisers are now looking for budding creatives to submit ideas for how to decorate the 3ft 6in elephants, which will form Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade. All submissions will be short-listed by a panel of judges and those that make it through will be displayed at an exclusive selection event in January next year, where sponsors and supporters will choose which design they want on their Elmer.
Those who are selected will have to apply their ideas onto their 35kg sculpture between February and April and will be given £850 upon finishing it.
Submissions are welcome from established artists to undiscovered talents as well as students, children and community groups.
It is thought up to 160,000 visitors will complete the trail.
Artistic patron for the event, best-selling printmaker Graham Clarke, said: “ I am honoured to be the artistic patron and incredibly proud that it will bring businesses and people in our community together to help raise awareness and vital funds for Heart of Kent Hospice.”
The charity is working on the scheme in collaboration with event producers Wild in Art and publisher of the Elmer books, Andersen Press.
To submit a design, email firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to Elmer Artist Submission, Heart of Kent Hospice, Preston Hall, Aylesford, Kent, ME20 7PU.
For an entry form click here.