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GC hares hopping through the Cotswolds

Following the success of last year’s trail, staff and students at Gloucestershire College will once again put a spring into the step of thousands of Cotswold visitors, by decorating a number of five-foot furry friends as part of this year’s Cotswold Hare Trail. 

Launching later this month, this year’s trail features over 100 hares, leverets and springers, all hand-painted by local artists to the theme of Cotswold heritage, which will be dotted throughout the Cotswolds in a unique art installation for all to enjoy for almost four-and-a-half months. The trail will, for the first time, branch out from as far as Stratford-upon-Avon and Bath to the Forest of Dean and almost Oxford; giving thousands more an opportunity to marvel at the March hares.  

Each hare is sponsored by a local business and will then be sold at auction to raise money for the Cotswolds AONB. 

GC art students have painted four full-size hares this year, which are sure to catch the eye of trail visitors. Each hare was given to students and staff as a blank canvas, on which the artists unleashed their creativity; bringing their unique designs to life.  

A number of Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma students have designed the evocative Julius Caes’Hare, inspired by the rich history of the romans in the Cotswolds and depicting Julius Caesar at the point of being betrayed. 

While art foundation diploma student Kathryn Canvin has painted Flora, a striking grey/pastel hare “inspired by the flowers and plants of the Cotswolds and the designs of artists such as William Morris who have used flowers as a rich source of inspiration.” 

Art foundation student Teigan Hurlock has created the colourful Hare in Pheasant’s Clothing, while Alexander Dynes Martinez has based his design, Harem Scarem, on the Day of the Dead Festival. 

Robbie Chapman, Curriculum Leader for Art and Design, said: ““The 2018 Cotswold Hare Trail project has been a fantastic opportunity for the students to be involved with. The students have all worked really hard on their designs and it has been invaluable experience for them to work on such a prestigious local project, which has taught them about working with live client briefs, time management and project planning. It’s been a great chance for their work to be included alongside established local artists and to get their work seen by the public.”

Graphics Lecturers Jess Colley and Rob Crebbin also teamed up to create a cool pair of Hipster Hares that represent a modern Cotswoldian. 

Jess said: As staff, it’s been a great opportunity to do some CPD on an unusual project, which has given us the chance to collaborate and build on our own skills, as we encourage our students to do the same.” 

The hare trail will run from May until September, giving everyone from art aficionados and nature lovers to social media snappers a chance to explore new attractions, hidden hills and valleys, quiet corners and busy market towns along the trail. Visit for more information.

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