Sadly, it has been announced that due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Bears of Sheffield sculpture trail has been postponed. The event has now been scheduled for next summer.
Inspired by the Botanical Garden’s bear, the trail would have seen over 60 bear sculptures, painted by a similar number of artists, appear across Sheffield from July of this year. It was hoped that it could build on the success of the Herd of Sheffield art trail that took place in the city back in 2016 and raised over £400k for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The Herd of Sheffield was a great event for our city. It not only raised money for (and awareness of) The Children’s Hospital Charity, it also made Sheffield a fantastic destination for both locals and those from further afield. With elephant sculptures dotted about across not only the city centre, but also our parks, shopping malls and suburbs, it was a great way to discover Sheffield.
The summer of 2021 may seem a long way off, but it is extremely understandable why the organisers of the Bears of Sheffield have made this decision. It is crucial right now that we practice social distancing to slow the spread of this horrible virus that is taking the lives of far too many worldwide and putting enormous pressure on our healthcare system. Whilst the existing lockdown will not last forever, it is likely that we will still be practising some form of social distancing during the summer months. Hosting such a large art event in Sheffield would not be appropriate right now.
The money that would have been raised this year as part of the sculpture trail would have gone towards transforming the Cancer and Leukaemia ward at the Children’s Hospital up by Weston Park. With the increased strain on NHS services due to the current pandemic, donations to The Children’s Hospital Charity are needed even more than normal. Obviously, for many the current crisis is causing issues, and for some that is financial, but if you are in a position that you can help support this valuable local charity, please consider making a donation.
While we wait for next summer and the bears to come out and into the sun, you can relive the Herd of Sheffield through Street Art Sheffield’s archive of photos from the event.