11 Jun Brentwood Art Trail set to celebrate local artists, businesses and community heroes
The upcoming Brentwood Art Trail, taking place between 3rd and 18th July, and sponsored by the Brentwood Business Partnership, has already broken records. With more than 70 exhibits, there will be more artists represented than ever before. Previous venues, and brand new ones, including The Greenhouse, French Quarter and The Larder in Crown Street, plus Abigail’s Lifestyle and Gallivant Travel Agency in Ingatestone, will become pop-up galleries for the Trail.
This year, there are several new elements to the event. In a special project for 2021, seven artists are working with community hubs in the borough to create individual pieces of art representing how support groups have made a difference to local people during the pandemic. Groups including BRAG Brentwood, Brentwood Mutual Aid, Daily Bread Serving Our Community, Doddinghurst Community Wellbeing Hub, Lighthouse Furniture Project, Manna Meals, and Vita Health Group – VitaMinds will be represented in artwork which will go on display in the prestigious window of Bennetts Funerals, especially for the Brentwood Art Trail. Local artist Teresa Pettenuzzo is creating one of the pieces, and was shielding during the first lockdown. She personally benefited from the support of these community hubs groups, and said, “I’m thrilled to be able to use my art to represent what a difference these groups have made, and continue to make, to the lives of many local people. It’s a touching way to celebrate them and share their achievements with the wider community. and I’m really happy to have the opportunity to say thank you in this way.”
As well as the Trail itself, there will be additional events for the community to enjoy, with an emphasis on outdoor activities aimed at enriching mental health. A series of ‘Walk, Talk & Create’ events will take place in locations such as Merrymeade Country Park, Warley Place Nature Reserve, and St. Faith’s Country Park, as well as guided tours. Events will be hosted by local artists, including Irene Malvezi, Julia Austin-Brenes, Lucia Hardy, and Sue Mills. The sessions are supported by Vita Health Group – VitaMinds, who provide therapy services to residents in Brentwood, Billericay, Basildon and Wickford. Art and craft workshops, both online and in person, are also on offer during the Trail. All events can be booked via www.brentwoodarttrail.eventbrite.com.
Local design agency, Blue Serif, are bringing their love of all things creative and community to the event, and sponsoring the Brentwood Art Trail again this year. The team designed and installed the #MyBwdArtTrail wall in 2019, inviting residents to contribute by making their mark over the course of the Trail. For 2021, the team is working on another piece of collaborative community artwork, using the pandemic photography of local people. The finished piece, titled, ‘Discover Our Brentwood’, will go on display during the Brentwood Art Trail and aims to celebrate the beauty of our borough, as captured by those who have enjoyed discovering it during the pandemic. Matt Barry, Director of Blue Serif, explained, “The Brentwood Art Trail is an integral part of promoting creativity that lies within our borough. We are proud to be supporting the Art Trail and helping to raise the profile of the vast array of local creative talent. The last 18 months has given many individuals and organisations the opportunity to explore more creative avenues, both on a personal and professional basis. Now back after a year’s absence, we hope the Art Trail can be the stepping stone for greater opportunities for many local artists, as well as inspiring more people to explore their creativity.”
As always, the event is supported by Brentwood Borough Council, and this year one of the Trail’s artists is displaying a piece of work created for both the Brentwood Art Trail and the Council’s upcoming Safari Trail. Jill Busby, a local artist who created a breathtaking 3D installation, titled, ‘Dying To Be Barbie’, for the Art Trail in 2019, is working on a wild animal sculpture which will be displayed in the Baytree Shopping Centre for the duration of both events.
Primary schools can also get involved this year with a free Zoom portrait session on Friday 2nd July, delivered by local artist and teacher Sue Mills, who launched the Brentwood Window Trail in 2020. The artwork created during the session can be displayed in windows, and enjoyed by passers-by as part of both Trails.
And if you’ve missed the movies over the past year, a collaboration with the Brentwood Theatre’s Community Cinema will see various art themed films on show during the Trail.
Residents and visitors can follow the event online via @bwdarttrail on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.