East of England Co-op house herd of Elmers
More than fifty large Elmer sculptures and one hundred smaller ‘young Elmers’ have recently taken up residency in a warehouse generously loaned to St Elizabeth Hospice’s latest art trail campaign by local independent retailer, the East of England Co-op.
All of the sculptures for Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, coming to Ipswich in later this year, arrived in mid-December, giving the Elmer team 150 early Christmas presents to unwrap!
Norman Lloyd, Campaign Manager for the hospice said:
“It was a busy time but it is fantastic to have all the sculptures here in Ipswich and to know that the painting can now begin. We are indebted to the East of England Co-op for allowing us to use one of their warehouses, as you can imagine 150 elephants take up quite a bit of space and Elmer HQ was definitely not up to the task!”
Nick Denny, Joint Chief Executive for the East of England Co-op said;
“We are so excited to be involved with Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk and supporting St Elizabeth Hospice. We’re really happy to be able to offer one of our warehouse spaces to keep the herd warm and dry before they step out on parade this summer.”
This is the only time that all of the blank sculptures will be together under one roof, and it is doesn’t last for long; the large sculptures are being delivered to their artists from next week ready for painting, and the smaller sculptures are already going off to their new homes, being collected by the schools, groups and organisations who have made a fundraising pledge and signed up to Elmer’s Learning Herd.
Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk is once again being run in conjunction with public art event specialists, Wild in Art, as well as new partner, children’s publisher Andersen Press, which has published Elmer since 1989. Elmer the colourful patchwork elephant has been a nursery favourite since the first book was published with its important but subtle inclusive messaging; that it is ‘OK to be different’.
Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk comes to Ipswich from June to September 2019. It follows the successful ‘Pigs Gone Wild’ art trail in 2016, which attracted around 250,000 visitors to Ipswich and boosted the local economy by an estimated £1 million. It raised £200,000 for the hospice – enough to fund one week’s care.
There are just fourteen young Elmers remaining. Any school or group that is interested in joining Elmer’s Learning Herd should email firstname.lastname@example.org.