The Cheltenham Paint Festival returned for it’s second year with a line up featuring a mix of local and international artists. First started only last year by local artist Andy Dice Davies it has since scaled up it’s ambition from 30 artists in 2017 to approximately 100 this time round.
Davies is well known on the Cheltenham scene. He’s been managing the graffiti walls lining the tunnels of the Honeybourne Line Tunnels in the town for the past four years. That venture helped to transform the often dark and dingy underpasses heading into the town. Turning them into a bit of a rotating gallery where people could enjoy the art as they passed through.
AMBITION AND EXPANSION
Now the ambition has grown and the town of Cheltenham has found itself the recipient of some pretty spectacular murals. With spots all around the town, local businesses and home owners seem to have got behind the initiative. The result being that following two years of painting there’s now a nice little trail to follow.
So, for this post we thought we’d feature the murals painted as part of the 2018 Cheltenham Paint Festival and where to find them. We haven’t featured each and every one, there are too many for that, but we have chosen a good cross section of some of our favourites.
THE BAYSHILL PUB – 85 ST. GEORGE’S PLACE
The main festival artist Beau Stanton painted the side of the pub overlooking the car park at the Bayshill. A spectacular mural featuring a golden archer against a backdrop of shapes and patterns. It’s the sort of piece which announces a presence. Flying over from America, Stanton is an established and sought after artist on the urban art scene. Versatile in terms of his mediums he’s painted in the UK before but never on this sort of scale.
WILLIAMS CYCLES – ALBION STREET
The walls around the building housing Williams Cycles are made for murals. The design of the exterior of this standalone building forms a series of seemingly purpose made canvases. The artists here got to play with some big spaces and featured a cross section of some of the most accomplished street artists on the national scene. The likes of Irony, Roo and SNUB joined Holland’s Nol, Austria’s China Girl Tile, Argentina’s Vanessa Longchamp and local artists SPZero76, DK, Mr Wigz and Andy Davies in decorating the sides of the building.
THE BREWERY QUARTER – TOWN CENTRE
The trendy Brewery Quarter received two new murals to accompany a piece created last year from Gnasher. French stencil artist Pogo joined Bristol’s Inkie in creating murals either side looking in at the tribute to Cheltenham’s brewing past.
HIGH STREET CAR PARK – HIGH STREET
Popular artist My Dog Sighs returned to the festival having visited the year before. His piece from then still remains and he added to it by painting one of his giant ‘hugs’ on a wall overlooking the car park. Joining him at the entrance, Curtis Hylton, who has been making a real name for himself recently with his giant murals of birds and flowers. Most recently we saw Curtis’s work in Blackburn for their Open Walls Festival and you can see that here.
NORTH PLACE CAR PARK – SWINDON ROAD
The main paint jam of the event took place in the scrappy piece of land doubling as a car park on North Place. Painting on the semi-permanent boards bordering the car park, at least 30 artists created works in spots along the wall. They created a patchwork quilt of street art along the formerly bland hoardings.
HONEYBOURNE LINE TUNNELS
Where it all started in Cheltenham. The tunnels through which the Honeybourne Line public footpath runs towards the town centre have become a recognised graffiti spot. After the North Place Car Park, the tunnels featured the next largest group of artists all giving their own section of the tunnels a bit of a facelift.
THE RAILWAY PUB – NEW STREET
Painting the giant wall overlooking the beer garden of the pub was Argentinian artist Caro Pepe. Coming to the festival via Germany where she now lives, Caro has visited the UK a number of times painting notable murals in the likes of London and Bristol. We interviewed Caro last year at the Upfest festival and you can read that here.
THE 2 PIGS – CHURCH STREET
The courtyard of ‘The 2 Pigs’ pub not only played host to the fun after party but also received a makeover. Painting in the courtyard were the likes Tommy Fiendish, Korp, My Dog Sighs and fine artist Raffaella Bertolini for who this outing represented her street art debut.
THE FROG AND FIDDLE – HIGH STREET
Another pub seeing some courtyard action was the Frog and Fiddle. Bristol artist Angus returned to paint next to the spot he claimed in 2017 and was joined by fellow Bristolian’s Diff and Georgie. Idiom completed the line up of artists painting.
HARDWICK STREET CAMPUS – SWINDON ROAD
Wasp Elder was the artist chosen to paint the prime spot at the front of the Hardwick Street Campus. Over recent years he’s really thrown himself into the whole street art thing and his work takes inspiration from documentary images which he collects. The mural from Wasp joins the standout piece from the year before from My Dog Sighs. We interviewed Wasp a few years back and you can read that here.
Brazilian artist L7m made his way to the town to paint one of his trademark birds. With their distinctive swirling colours surrounding them, he is a hugely popular artist. This time his works received an addition from the prolific Mr Dog Sighs who seems to have had an awful lot of fun at this festival. Look closely and a number of his trademark eyes can be seen within the swirls. Cleveland Street also saw the return of the Never Ready crew of Philith and N4T4. Their work from 2017 can be seen nearby on the side of William Hill and they recently topped our best of list for their mural at the 2018 Upfest in Bristol.
AGGS PAVILLION – PITTVILLE PARK
In the middle of Pittville Park was a little on it’s own but already sporting some well documented murals from SPZero76 and Kid Crayon from the previous year. Now joining his work, the likes of Sky High and Si Mitchell joined Sheffield’s Fem Sorcell to completed the other two sides of the pavillion.
The Cheltenham Paint Festival ran from 8-9 September 2018