Elmer the elephant art trail coming to Maidstone to support Heart of Kent Hospice

by My Kent Family reporter

Children's favourite Elmer - or 40 of her - will be stampeding into a Kent town as part of a free public art installation.

Called Elmer's Big Heart of Kent Parade the project is arriving in summer 2020.

It will raise awareness for the Heart of Kent Hospice, in Aylesford, which is working on the scheme in collaboration with event producers Wild in Art and children's books publisher Andersen Press.

The animal sculptures will be based on Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, the star of one of the most widely read childrens' books written by David McKee.

Each Elmer will be designed by a different artist and the hospice aims to have more than 40 sculptures in key locations.

It is the first such trail to come to the County Town.

Last year, in a similar scheme, Wild in Art brought giant model 'Snowdogs' to Ashford.

Sarah Pugh, chief executive of the hospice said: “We’re really excited to bring this high quality, temporary tourist attraction to the community we serve and, who in turn, generously support us.

Sarh Pugh chief executive of the Heart of Kent Hospice with Alison Broom, chief executive of Maidstone Borough Council
Sarh Pugh chief executive of the Heart of Kent Hospice with Alison Broom, chief executive of Maidstone Borough Council

“Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade will bring together all areas of the community to put Maidstone on the map, showcase the wealth of talent in the area and contribute to the economic, cultural and social life of the town, while at the same time raising valuable funds and the profile of the hospice.

"The trail will be totally inclusive, vibrant and creative - engaging all generations. We’re thrilled to be able to showcase our County town’s cultural heritage in this way while raising the profile and funds for Heart of Kent Hospice.”

Charlie Langhorne, director of Wild in Art said: "By joining forces with Andersen Press and creating a blank 3D canvas inspired by the famous patchwork elephant, we just know this big parade will have a positive impact."

Paul Black, PR and brand director of Andersen Press, said Elmer had been a big part of the company's work for more than three decades and added the trail would 'bring him to life.'

The hospice is inviting businesses and organisations to register their interest or sponsor one of the elephants by emailing elmer@hokh.co.uk

KM Media Group is the official media partner for Elmer's Big Heart of Kent Parade and other backers include Gullands solicitors, Westerhill Homes, Chartway Group, Scarbutts Printers, MCM Net, Clive Emson, Maidstone Borough Council, Gallagher Group and One Maidstone.

Maidstone artist Graham Clark is the project's artistic patron.

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