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Cheltenham Paint Festival goes virtual during lockdown

Last year, CreativeFolk artist Paul Kneen, was kindly invited to participate in the Cheltenham Paint Festival 2019. The event showcases stunning street art from some of the best artists around, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Due to the current crisis we find ourselves in, organised events, such as this, have sadly been cancelled and much of the funding available cut. This hasn’t deterred, Cheltenham Paint Festival organiser and artist, Andy ‘Dice’ Davies, from putting on a wonderful ‘virtual’ version of the event via social media.

In an interview with street art and graffiti website inspiringcity.com, Andy explains how a fellow artist suggested, during these strange times, it might be fun to set up an online version of the festival.

Andy ‘Dice’ Davies talks to Inspiring City about the Cheltenham Paint Festival Virtual Exhibition

With a vast selection of photographs collected over the years of Cheltenham walls and buildings, Andy set up the Facebook page CPF2020 Artists Group and uploaded the images. The next step was to invite artists to superimpose their work onto the images and post to the group.

Organiser, Andy ‘Dice’ Davies’ stunning piece

The result is a fantastic ‘virtual’ artistic showcase of what Cheltenham could look like if these artists were let loose on the town!

This virtual version of the festival has proven to be a great experience for artists, allowing them to see what their work would look like on a large scale. Fingers crossed it also encourages the owners of the walls to allow the artists to make their mark in the future.

CreativeFolk artist, Paul Kneen, was one of the artists featured in the virtual exhibition. He explains, “I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this project. Visualising my work on scale larger than I’m used to only made me want to do it for real. It was also great to see all the other wonderful works of art from so many talented artists”.

CreativeFolk artist, Paul Kneen, added his ‘Cola Bear’ as part of the virtual festival

The popularity of the project has seen over 170 artists, from all over the world getting involved. As Andy explains in the interview, many working artists have seen plans cancelled, so this was an opportunity to do something creative and showcase their work. The virtual exhibition has since been featured on numerous blogs and websites including bbc.co.uk.

Although we currently have no idea when things will get back to ‘normal’, there are still plans for the real Cheltenham Paint Festival to take place in the first week of September.

We would highly recommend a visit. It’s an amazing experience, allowing you to see first-hand the talented artists at work.

When we’re finally released from our cages, we’ll all be looking for interesting things to do in the ‘real’ world, and this should certainly be on your to-do list.

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