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Schools Embark on Creative Journey to Design Oxen Herds for OxTrail Art Event

today26/09/2023 75

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Oxfordshire welcomes a burst of creativity as local schools pledge their artistic talents to the anticipated OxTrail, a giant art sculpture event set to grace the city next year. Schools including Shiplake CE Primary School, Garsington CE Primary School, and Perpetual Childcare childminding services are among the first to join this vibrant initiative.

These institutions are not just participants; their students and pre-schoolers will actively engage in fundraising activities to sponsor and design a mini ox with a designer’s guidance. These mini oxen will form ‘local herds,’ and for eight weeks next summer, they will be displayed in publicly accessible buildings throughout the city, accompanying the 30 giant oxen situated at iconic landmarks and other points of interest.

OxTrail is a charitable project initiated by the region’s largest hospice, Sobell House Hospice, and its charity. The hospice aspires to incorporate between 50 and 100 schools and nurseries in its endeavor to spread oxen herds across the county for public enjoyment.

Amy White, Key Stage 2 Leader at Shiplake CE Primary School, shared the enthusiasm of her school, stating, “We are excited to be part of the Oxtrail project and be bringing this event to our local community. As a school, we aspire to be compassionate and have a positive impact in our community. We are looking forward to decorating our own mini ox for our community to enjoy whilst supporting the compassionate care Sobell House Hospice provide.”

Echoing a similar sentiment, Zara d’Archambaud, Headteacher at Garsington CE Primary School, said, “We are very excited to be part of OxTrail 2024. We are all keen artists and love to be creative. All the children and staff will be involved in the designing and creating our unique ox and we are looking forward to people from Oxford and around the world seeing our work.”

At Perpetual Childcare, Founder and Childminder Theresa Lamble expressed her delight, noting, “We are very excited to be the first preschool to be part of this project, we will bring energy and enthusiasm, with children, staff, parents and extended family involved in designing the ox in readiness for its forever home. We might be the smallest of the groups but we are mighty and make a great team player of the herd and can’t wait to put down our milk cups to pick up our paintbrushes.”

OxTrail’s learning program, sponsored by Oxford Brookes University, will further enrich the participating schools by offering a variety of engaging and inspirational resources for lesson planning and workshops. These resources will equip schools with the necessary tools and inspiration to aid in the creation of their ox designs.

The event will kick off on 6th July 2024 and will run until early September 2024. Upon conclusion, the ox sculptures will be auctioned, with proceeds going to the hospice, contributing to a cycle of community support and creative learning.

Written by: Hamish Law

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