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Shoppers pop in for arty fun.

SHOPPERS created their own works of art at a pop-up studio in Ankerside Shopping Centre in Tamworth. The one-day event encouraged visitors to come up with their own masterpieces, led by local art tutor Andy Nash, which will then form part of an exhibition at the mall later this month.

It is part of Tamworth Council's I Am Visual Art project, which is sponsored by Ankerside Centre and focuses on images that depict the area and the people who live there.

Andy, a 52-year-old sculptor from Glascote, is South Staffordshire College's art and design course leader and was there to give expert advice.

He said: "It's great to do this and come somewhere with such a high footfall and get so many people buzzing about being creative.

"We split the unit up so we had a beginners' table plus an intermediate area and then an advanced group who were pretty much just getting on with it themselves.

"We've also got a mosaic on the go, which is a huge image that has been cut up into pieces. Everyone who comes can paint one of the squares or use whatever they want, and then it will all get put back together for the final exhibition.

"Parents are loving it because it gives the kids so much confidence. Once the exhibition is up and running hopefully that will encourage even more people to the Ankerside as well."

The collaborative piece depicts images associated with Tamworth, such as the legendary King Offa and a pair of the area's famous Sandyback pigs.

I Am Visual Art forms part of the wider I Am Tamworth project being run by Hannah McKenzie, the council's art, events and marketing coordinator, who said: "The event has been quite busy with a steady flow of visitors and we've had people of all abilities, which is what we wanted.

"We're hoping all age groups will take part too, as it's aimed at anyone from two to 102 - anyone who can pick up a pencil."

Any budding artists who missed the event but would still like their work to be considered for the exhibition can leave their submissions, a maximum of two each, at Tamworth Tourist Information Centre on Corporation Road before May 23.

Work needs to be a maximum size of A1 and must be a 2D format - but any medium will be considered such as drawing, painting, printing and photography.

More about the project by following #iamvisualart on social media or visiting IamTamworth.co.uk

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 6, 2015
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