Andersen Press, along with project partner Wild in Art, are delighted to announce their most recent Elmer’s Big Art Parade auction raised an incredible £312,750 for the Heart of Kent Hospice, bringing the total raised across all trails to £1,072,000.
The auction, held on Thursday 9th September at the Mercure Maidstone was the culmination of an almost 3-year project in the Kent town following the trail’s postponement in 2020. 51 sculptures based on David McKee’s beloved character Elmer were decorated by a variety of artists, and formed a free, public trail over the summer, before being auctioned off in aid of the hospice charity. David McKee has written and illustrated over 200 picture books for Andersen Press and has penned several children’s classics including Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. In 2020 McKee won both British Book Awards Illustrator of the Year and Book Trust’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Elmer remains one of the most iconic and widely read children’s book series of all time, selling over 10 million copies worldwide and translated into more than 60 languages since it was first published by Andersen Press in 1989. A beloved classic and firm family favourite, David McKee’s iconic and brightly coloured patchwork elephant is the ambassador for friendship and celebrating everyone’s own true colours.
The biggest lot sold at auction was local artist Ralph Steadman’s piece ‘Elly-do, Elly-don’t, Elly-dance!’ which took inspiration from the Elmer book and his own iconic artwork for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thomson, his piece sold for the astounding sum of £15,500. With this incredible amount raised, Andersen Press and Wild in Art have now crossed the whopping £1,000,000 raised since the Elmer’s Big Art Parade project started in 2019.
On the evening, Paul Black, PR and Brand Director at Andersen Press said, ‘When we set out with our friends at Wild in Art to stage Elmer’s Big Art Parades we could have only dreamed of raising these incredible amounts of money – to cross the £1 million mark in Maidstone was a brilliant achievement, and we hope we can continue to raise lots of much-needed money for charities as the art trails land in towns and cities all over the world.’
The project continues into 2022 with the recent announcement that Northern Ireland Hospice in Belfast will create the next trail, with a colourful herd of Elmers hitting the streets of Belfast in summer 2022, all in aid of the hospice.
More on Elmer’s Big Art Parades and Wild in Art here