A MASSIVE public art event planned for Brierley Hill this summer is ready for the off, with 29 schools now on board.
The Brierley Hill Pony Trail will see 30 fibre glass ponies installed to along a walking trail around Brierley Hill – in a bid to get people out and about and seeing the area from a different perspective.
The project, led by the Brierley Hill Arts and Culture Development Group and Dudley Performing Arts, draws inspiration from similar trails across the UK and beyond including King Bladud’s Pigs in Bath, Go Penguins in Liverpool, and the Ulm sparrow trail along the Danube.
A host of borough schools have signed up to take part – and they have now been charged with decorating their ponies ahead of the launch at the beginning of July.
Black Country artists have also been enlisted to help students accessorise each piece – which has been created out of fibre glass from an original design by Birmingham-based sculptor Pamina Stewart.
The finished and dynamically different ponies will then be showcased at Dudley Performing Arts’ summer festival on July 2, 3 and 4 at Himley Hall and Park.
A ‘pony paddock’ will be created so people can see all 30 sculptures together – before they are put into position at various locations around Brierley Hill from Monday July 12 and the trail will be officially launched on Saturday July 24.
Claire Starmer-Jones said: “This will be the only time that all 30 ponies will be together so it will offer a grand opportunity to see and compare all the different designs and materials used.”
The trail will start at St Michael’s Church in Brierley Hill – and a map will be created to highlight the position and details of each pony.
When the initiative ends in September the ponies will be auctioned off by Stourbridge auctioneer Will Farmer from the Antiques Roadshow.
All funds raised from the project will go towards future arts regeneration events in the borough.
Schools sponsoring a pony include: Summerhill Secondary School, Brierley Hill Primary School, The Mere Pupil Referral Unit, Wordsley School, Crestwood Primary, The Kingswinford School, Thorns Community College, Peter’s Hill Primary School, Withymoor Primary School, Old Swinford Hospital School, Stourbridge College, Glasshouse College, The Brook Primary School, Redhill School, Woodside Community School, Woodsetton Special School, Jessons Primary, Blowers Green Primary, Netherton C of E Primary, Cotwall End Primary, Milking Bank Primary, Foxyards Primary, Northfield Road Primary, Hillcrest, Bishop Milner School, High Arcal, Dudley Wood Primary, Netherbrook Primary and Pensnett High.
For more information or to become a ‘pony keeper’ to keep an eye out for an individual pony on the route contact Claire Starmer-Jones on 01384 813943 or visit www.dudley.gov.uk/dpa