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Festival set to paint the town

Cheltenham > Entertainment > Attractions

Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Friday, 30th August 2019, 09:00

Brazilian artist L7Matrix created this piece on Cleveland Street last year.

Brazilian artist L7Matrix created this piece on Cleveland Street last year.

The Cheltenham Paint Festival is quickly becoming one of the more popular annual events in the town.

Now entering its third year, the festival was co-founded by Andy ‘Dice’ Davies and Angela Parks, with last year’s weekend attracting 120 artists to paint the town.

“It amazes me how well Cheltenham has taken to it,” said Andy, also known by his artist name, Dice Sixtyseven.

“I always remember when we first did it two years ago, we were painting a wall on Tewkesbury Road and one of the residents came out and complained they didn’t want a black wall outside their house.

“We explained we were putting a mural over it, and then when it was done they came out again and I just thought, ‘oh here we go!’

“She started taking pictures and said she was going to the council. But only because she wanted CCTV installed so no one could damage it.”

This year will feature a similar number of artists to 2018 – “it’s about as much as my head can handle!” says Andy – with the public able to watch them at work as they create spectacular street art.

The artists will be painting at around 25 locations in Cheltenham, in places like The Brewery Quarter and The Wilson.

Andy said: “Some places offer their buildings to us, but mostly it’s me going around saying, ‘you’ve got a lovely wall, would you like it painted?’

“But it’s definitely gotten a lot easier now people are more aware of the festival and what we’re all about.”

This year the Paint Festival is partnering with the Cheltenham Literature Festival, in celebration of their 70th anniversary.

The world’s first literature festival was held in Cheltenham in 1949, and featured an event called ‘Hurrah for Books’, which will be the name of the theme of this year’s Paint Festival.

“Quite a few artists have taken to the theme,” said Andy. “There’ll be lots of literature inspired art around.”

Also on offer will be kids’ workshops at the University of Gloucestershire’s Hardwicke Campus, which include spray painting classes, face painting and record spinning.

Chapel Arts will also be home to special events as some of the country’s finest graffiti artists will be exhibiting their works and taking part in a discussion, thirty years on from ‘Operation Anderson’, the biggest anti-graffiti police operation in the history of British policing.

“There’s been a change in the feeling towards graffiti in the last 10 years,” added Andy. “Nowadays you see it more in towns on the up.

“The festival brings more colour into the town and it’s enjoyed by people of all generations.”

The Cheltenham Paint Festival runs from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th September.

For more information visit www.cheltenhampaintfestival.co.uk

Other Images

Beau Stanton’s 2018 mural on the Bayshill Pub.

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