Public Art Trails are something I first became aware of in 2010 with the London Elephant Parade. They consist of several sculptures, based around a theme, that are all decorated by a different artist and which are then displayed to the public in a certain location. This is usually a town/city but can be a wider area and is often used as a way of driving tourism to that area, as well as raising awareness for whichever charity that the trail is supporting. After a couple of months on public display the sculptures are auctioned off, with the money going to the designated charity. The majority of these trails are organised by Wild in Art.
From my point of view they are a great way of exploring a new city, or finding new parts of places that you thought you knew well, and they also tie in nicely with checking out new bars, after all walking around is thirsty work!
Initially it used to annoy me if I didn’t see every one of the sculptures on a trail but I am a lot more relaxed about it now as there are often circumstances out of my control that may result in me missing some, such as the need to repair damaged sculptures. That said my biggest bug bear is still organisations and companies that agree to host a sculpture but then make it virtually impossible for the public to gain access to see it although thankfully this is less prevalent nowadays as the popularity of the trails has increased.
Nowadays, with more of them taking place each year, my approach is to make a day trip to the city with the aim of seeing the whole trail, or at least as many of the sculptures as are on display as possible. With most trails being 30-40 sculptures, and usually confined to the central areas, this seems to work well. If a trail is a lot larger, or they have included sculptures across a much wider area then I may make multiple visits, but obviously this is more likely the closer the trail is to home. This section will eventually document my experiences of all the trails that I have done to date. Initial thoughts on the forthcoming trails that I plan on doing will appear in the Musings section before being archived here later.