Sponsors stampede to select sculpture designs
Representatives from North East businesses, who have committed to sponsoring an Elmer sculpture as part of the Great North Elmer art trail, enjoyed coming together to view the shortlisted designs submitted by artists from across the region and beyond. After perusing the artworks, which included around 70% local artists, guests heard impassioned speeches from Northumbrian Water, Gentoo, North East England Chamber of Commerce and Tyne and Wear Metro, encouraging excitement for the trail. Any of the guests who hadn’t yet officially signed up were given to chance to join the herd, resulting in the elephant klaxon sounding three times to announce new sponsors; Big Purple Productions, Hilton Newcastle Gateshead and TT2.
Then it was on to the moment all guests had been waitin for the 'stampede'! Each Sponsor was given a sticker bearing their logo and were invited to stand behind Elmer-themed bunting. After a countdown from James Ramsbotham of the NEECC, the beginnings of the song ‘Nellie the Elephant’ signified the stampede had begun. Sponsors had honed their technique and come up with tactics ahead of the stampede, in a bid to ensure they secured their favourite design. But once the rope was dropped, it was every sponsor for themselves, as they raced to place their sticker on their desired design.
We can report no Elmer's (or sponsors) were damaged during the stampede and almost 40 Sponsors were matched to an artwork. Lots of happy faces left the event clutching a souvenir print of their design, eagerly discussing plans for working with their artist and promoting their sculpture.