Half Marathon masterpiece for Bristol's runners unveiled

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Affordable Art Fair’s Artist in Residence reveals official t-shirt design for Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon runners

The Affordable Art Fair has teamed up with renowned local artist Alex Lucas to create a bespoke design for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon race t-shirts, to be worn by over 10,000 runners taking part next month. It is the first time an artist has been asked to design a t-shirt for the Bristol race.

The t-shirt motif which features a cartoon bear taking part in the race, victoriously leaping over the Clifton Suspension Bridge, is inspired by Bristol’s own Bear Pit and reflects the hard work and triumph of all of those who participate. 

Alex is this year’s Artist in Residence at the much-loved Affordable Art Fair, taking place 8th-10thSeptember in Bristol. Her quirky and distinctive designs are a fixture on the Bristol landscape; she has painted several murals which can be seen across the city, including a 7metre plesiosaur on Park Row, animals riding bikes for the Bristol Bike Project and 7ft tall boxing hare on Stokes Croft are to name just a few. 

Runners and spectators will have the chance to take home their own limited edition print of the t-shirt motif ahead of the run. Alongside a wider selection of her work, Alex, who is represented by Bristol-based Clifton Fine Art, will be selling prints of the design at the fair, personalised for each runner. A portion of the profits from the limited print run will go to the fair’s charity partner Studio Upstairs, with whom Alex has previously worked as an art therapist.

Bristol Fair Director Sam Gare said: “This collaboration between the Affordable Art Fair and Bristol Half Marathon brings together two of the biggest events in Bristol’s Autumn Calendar. We are thrilled to pay homage to the city’s artistic heritage by giving one of its best loved artists the opportunity to draw inspiration from the landmarks and spirit of Bristol.”

Over 10,000 runners will take on the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon on Sunday 17th September following a scenic route that makes the most of the city’s picturesque backdrop. The sea-level route takes runners along the stunning Avon Gorge, passing under the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge twice before returning to the city centre. The city centre run has become a long-held tradition in the sporting calendar, starting and finishing in Bristol’s historic harbourside.

Andy Graffin, project manager for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon, said: “We’re delighted to be able to partner with the Affordable Art Fair to offer our participants a bespoke, exciting design for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon finisher’s t-shirt. 

“The partnership is a fantastic opportunity to involve a well-respected local artist like Alex, who has taken part in the event herself on two occasions. 

“We’re looking forward to seeing the thousands of finishers wearing their t-shirts with pride on Sunday 17 September."

Speaking about the opportunity, Alex said: “Having run the half-marathon in many fancy dress costumes including a paint palette and an eyeball, I feel really honoured to have been chosen to design the t-shirt for this year’s event, in partnership with the Affordable Art Fair.

“Bristol is such a fun and vibrant city, so I wanted to convey that in the motif I designed, as well as incorporate some of the best-loved symbols of Bristol”

The Affordable Art Fair Bristol offers a unique chance for first time buyers and serious collectors to browse and buy a huge variety of art from around 500 artists under one roof. Visitors will find traditional oil paintings alongside striking contemporary sculptures and exciting contemporary prints and photographs – a diverse and eclectic array of art to suit all tastes and budgets from £100-6,000.

The Affordable Art Fair Bristol opens its doors to the public on Friday 8th September and runs until Sunday 10th September 2017. Book your ticket online now at affordableartfair.com/fairs/bristol

To sign up for the Simplyhealth Bristol Great Half Marathon visit: Greatrun.org/Bristol

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