THURSDAY 22 JUN 2017 1:35 PM


The great outdoors has long been a canvas for artists to convey the beauty and flexibility of the environment. From the first cave drawings, discovered in the Indonesia and estimated to be around 40,000 years old, to sculptures gracing most urban hubs, art in the open air provides an entertaining way of educating people about artistic mediums. These traits are firmly reflected in the development of a modern-day art trail, which takes place across key locations in Cardiff and the Veil of Glamorgan during autumn 2017.

The trail’s theme is based on the animated film sequel to Raymond Briggs’ well-loved ‘The Snowman™,’ ‘The Snowman and The Snowdog,’ and is the result of a partnership between Penguin Ventures, an arm of the publishing company which extends the Penguin brand beyond its traditional book products, and Wild in Art, a partnership-based organisation which aims to generate public enjoyment of art through high-profile events. Following the success of two previous events, held in the UK cities of Brighton and Newcastle, a third trail has been added to the Welsh capital of Cardiff for the enjoyment of locals and tourists alike.

Yet the event is not without a charitable purpose. Combined, the public art trails of Brighton and Newcastle generated an impressive £597,000 for local hospices, highlighting how a nation-wide initiative can have such a community-centred response. For the 2017 Cardiff edition, Penguin Ventures and Wild in Art have chosen Tŷ Hafan, a hospice providing specialist care to children with life-limiting conditions, as the project’s charity partner. The organisers are hopeful of another positive response, says Damian Treece, brand manager for The Snowman™. Last year, the organisers were overwhelmed with the popularity of the trails – in terms of both visitor numbers, and the amount of engagement across their associated digital channels.

“To have over one million people visit the trails plus 30,000 children being reached via the schools programme, all while raising such a fantastic amount of fundraising was truly humbling,” says Treece. “Tŷ Hafan is a great partner, doing incredible work across Wales, and I’m hopeful that we can replicate and even amplify the success of 2016, this year for another very worthy cause.” 

Further community elements are also built into the programme. Local businesses are being asked to sponsor Snowdog statues, the designs for which are currently in development by selected Welsh artists and will go to auction at the end of the project to raise money for Tŷ Hafan. Designing their own Snowdog puppy, which will also go on exhibition in a mini-tail, is a way in which local school children can also get involved.

Charlie Langhorne, director of Wild in Art, says, “We’re excited to be working with Penguin Ventures once again to bring our first Snowdog Art Trail to Wales. The much-loved Snowdog sculpture promises to bring art to the streets of the country’s capital, while highlighting iconic landmarks and the stunning open spaces of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Snowdogs: Tails in Wales brings the region’s artists, businesses and communities together through the power of creativity to help raise vital funds for the hospice – and we can’t wait to launch the paw-some trail this autumn.”

Running for ten weeks, the trail will be unveiled across key locations in Cardiff and the Veil of Glamorgan this autumn. Members of the public will be able to follow the trail using a bespoke Snowdogs: Tails in Wales trail map or the affiliate app to track down as many of the sculptures as possible.