A rust inflamed rhino graced Sussex Road roundabout in Haywards Heath last April, itself a signal that a new event was taking place in the town.
From April 5 to 20 Haywards Heath Art trail returns for a second year when a new sculpture with greet drivers on the A272 eastern approach.
“It’ll be large, but that’s all I’m going to say,” said Marion Wilcock, a director of Haywards Heath Community CIC, which is organising the event.
The roundabout sculpture, which will be unveiled as a surprise on the opening day, is one of many pieces of art that will be displayed for the public’s enjoyment throughout the town centre.
“As before we’re going to start at Grape and Grain in the Broadway,” said Marion, “and then head up and along South Road and down in to Sussex Road.”
Various shops along the route will feature pieces of art, all from Sussex artists or Haywards Heath Twinning Association towns of Traunstein and Bondues.
The hope is the trail will encourage people to break their usual shopping habits and make them explore premises they do not normally frequent.
“Like last year we are exploring all the various mediums, so we have paintings and art but also textiles, wood sculptures, chainsaw art, ceramic, metal sculptures and glass.”
One of Marion’s favourite exhibits will be on display in Norman Hobbs electrical store in Sussex Road. It is made by Lorraine Kelly who specialises in working with driftwood.
It is also hoped some exciting live art demonstrations will take place in Victoria Park, but details remain to be finalised.
The Art Trail is a genuine community event, entirely made possible by the dedication of volunteers, donations of art, space provided by the shops, with support from Haywards Heath Town Council.
Marion hopes the event will become an established part of the town’s social calendar and act as a catalyst prompting other events and additions to the occasion to occur at the same time.
This year for example, the Paul Badham art gallery in The Orchards is hosting a month long sculpture exhibition, included as part of the Art Trail.
In future years, many fringe elements could develop the Art Trail into almost a Spring Festival, helping to put Haywards Heath on the map.