Bears hit Sheffield streets this summer

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Bears hit Sheffield streets this summer

Friday 25 June 2021

The trail will begin in July 2021 and support fundraising for a new Cancer and Leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

As headline sponsor, Sheffield Hallam University will have three bears at outdoor locations on-campus, one of which has been designed by Sheffield Hallam Honorary Doctorate Pete McKee. It’s hoped that the trail can repeat the success of the Herd of Sheffield in 2016, when elephant sculptures attracted around 175,000 visitors to the city.

Richard Calvert, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University said: "Sheffield Hallam is proud to be supporting The Children’s Hospital Charity’s Bears of Sheffield project this year.  After the incredible success of the Herd of Sheffield in 2016, we wanted to once again be part of a wonderful project which brings together local communities, businesses and artists, all to raise vital funds for Sheffield Children’s Hospital."

Illustrator and alumni Tom J Newell is among the professional artists who have designed a bear for the trail. Tom studied fine art at the University’s former Psalter Lane campus (2003-2006) and is based in Sheffield. The design for his Bear, Quasar One is an example of the hand-drawn artworks he is known for which often shows a ‘dark side’ and this detailed monochrome Bear sculpture is striking in its contrasting design.

Earlier this week we caught-up with Tom who said it was an honour to be involved in helping the Sheffield Children’s Hospital. We also asked him about how his time Sheffield Hallam had influenced his work and his approach to public art, Tom said:

"I think having a fine art background from the more conceptual work I made for my degree often helps me to bring different concepts with interesting approaches to the more illustrative artwork that I make now.

"I’d like all of my work to be enjoyed by anyone on different levels of understanding wherever they might find it.

"I think it can be enjoyed visually on a basic level, with kids able to pick out recognisable characteristics, and then more mystical properties and hidden references can be picked up by anyone else who wants to look closer into the imagery."

If you would like to take a closer look at Tom’s bear and all the other wonderful designs, please visit the Bears of Sheffield website to find out more.

If you’re based in Sheffield or planning a visit, share your bear pictures with us on Facebook @sheffieldhallamalumni or Twitter @SHU_Alumni. The first 10 alumni to share their pictures with us will receive their very own mini bear from the Sheffield Children’s Hospital charity shop.

You don’t have to miss out if you’re not local, you can follow the Bears of Sheffield’s progress on Twitter @BearsofSheff, or @bearsofsheffield on Facebook and Instagram.

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