Life-size portraits of Team GB athletes reside in Wanstead as part of Art Trail

Nine life-sized portraits of Team GB athletes will reside in the borough for a short time after the third annual Art Trail returned on Saturday.

As part of Art Trail Wanstead, portraits have taken pride of place including that of sprinter Victoria Barr in the Barnardo’s shop window, in High Street, and medal-winning rower Mark Hunter in the United Reformed Church, Nightingale Lane.

All the athletes will be making “appearances” at community venues until the trail ends on September 30.

Artist Teresa Witz, who opened the trail on Saturday and is a member of the organising Art Group Wanstead (AGW), encouraged Canary Wharf Group to release the works from an outside installation in Jubilee Park.

Ms Witz said: “The trail has already been a great success and this is the first year there have been workshops taking place which gives visitors a chance to get involved instead of just looking at the art, making it much more accessible.

“It was fabulous to be asked to open the trail and after three years worth of work to see these paintings being exhibited is great.

“I met all the athletes which was very exciting but obviously they didn’t have a lot of time to spare.”

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For 16 days, 200 local artists will show their works in 75 venues in Wanstead, including restaurant L’Infinito in the High Street, Wanstead House Community Association in The Green and pubs including The George and The Cuckfield in High Street.

Since the opening, residents and visitors have been following the route with their free guides, available from most of the venues taking part.

Highlights this year will include the group’s art and design fair at Wanstead Library’s Churchill hall, Spratt Hall Road, on Saturday and art displays at St Mary’s Church, Overton Drive.

There are no entry charges and AGW is encouraging people to give donations at venues.

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