Two of Cheltenham’s much-loved festivals are working together to celebrate 70 years of Cheltenham Literature Festival. Cheltenham Paint Festival takes place on 7th and 8th September and has adopted the theme ‘Hurrah For Books’, encouraging artists to interpret the theme in their own unique way. Cheltenham Literature Festival is the world’s first literature festival and Hurrah For Books was the name of the commissioned event performed by Joyce Grenfell which wrapped up the first ever Festival in 1949. Cheltenham Paint Festival brings leading national and international street artists to the town. In the two years it has been running it has already created over 200 pieces of public art and this year around 100 artists will paint at up to 25 sites in the town.
Members of the public attending both the Paint Festival in September and Literature Festival in October, will be able to vote for their favourite artwork on the theme. The winning artist will be presented with a set of art books from the Literature Festival and one lucky winner will win a pack of art materials and artwork from the Paint Festival.
Andy Dice Davies, Director of Cheltenham Paint Festival, said “We are delighted to be working with Cheltenham Literature Festival. We both have the same vision of improving the cultural offering in Cheltenham and this is a great opportunity for us to jointly deliver a recognition of Cheltenham’s role in the proliferation of literature events worldwide. My family are avid readers and I am looking forward to the opportunity to share the excitement of a new book within the ‘Hurrah for books’ theme. Martha Cooper’s Subway Art was the book that inspired a huge amount of our artists to start painting for themselves so I expect that to be referenced heavily!”
Angela Parks, also a Director of Cheltenham Paint Festival, added ”Our artists are really excited about the theme ‘Hurrah for books’. Sam Art will be painting a photo-realistic portrait of one of many people’s favourite authors, Chinagirl Tile is creating a ceramic piece based on her favourite childhood novel, AndAtWhatCost will be digging out some vintage reference books, and many other artists have said they will be looking for a particular book or graphic novel to inspire their work. It’s been fascinating talking to the artists and realising that every topic they want to cover has already been covered by Cheltenham Literature Festival’s fiction and nonfiction events.”
Lyndsey Fineran, Programme and Commissions Manager for The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival said “It’s incredibly exciting that some of the world’s best street artists will be celebrating the 70th birthday of our Literature Festival. Our mission has always been to get books out in the world and into people’s lives so I can’t wait to see book-related artwork popping up all over town. It will be the perfect build up to our big anniversary Festival and I’m so pleased we can point our audiences to the excellent work Cheltenham Paint Festival is doing.”