Mural artist Paul Curtis creates an Easter Treasure Hunt for young people in the city
2 years ago
Liverpool artist Paul Curtis is setting young people in the city an Easter Arrrt Challenge, asking them to find as many of his murals as they can.
Whoever tracks down the most will win a prize including a signed copy of one of his prints, a one-to-one art lesson from Paul, and a visit to their school.
Paul says: “I’ve launched the Paul Curtis Arrrt Competition, and the idea is a unique Easter Art ‘Treasure Hunt’ to give kids from five to 16 something to do over the Easter holidays.
“I’ll ask them to print out a map and take it to as many of my public works as they can manage for a photo with it, and they will be able to use my interactive map to hunt down the art.”
Paul’s work is well-known across the region with murals like the Liverpool Wings on Jamaica Street in the Baltic Triangle; the LFC FA Cup victory inspired-artwork in Anfield; National winner Red Rum in Southport, and Birkenhead Drill.
Paul, 42, explains: “I had put the map together a while ago so kids could follow it and get a picture with each of the murals, and I’ve seen a lot of kids already do it and send me the photos. They get taken out with mum and dad, and that gave me the idea.
“I was thinking about kids and how they can get bored in the holidays, and I reckoned this was something they could do, and that wouldn’t cost anything other than maybe the fuel to get there.
“They’ve got over the two weeks to do it, so they don’t even have to do it in one day. There’s a lot of interest in seeing the murals, and I thought the competition made it fun.”
He adds: “I do get around three or four schools asking me to go in and give a talk every week, and I just can’t do it because I have to be on site working, so having one of the prizes as a talk to a school from me seemed like a fair way of doing it and offering everyone the chance.
“It would be nice if schools encouraged people to do it but, as I said, it’s something people can do on their own.”
Part of the reasons Paul enjoys creating the murals, he says, is because it makes his art so accessible.
“I still enjoy doing them and I’m lucky now that I can pick and choose. I mostly enjoy anything that’s new – (he does get asks to repeat certain paintings) – and I prefer doing things that are more natural rather than buildings, when I have to get my tape measure out. Natural things, like portraits and flowers, allow more freedom.
“I do find it interesting, and I never know what I’m going to be asked for, sometimes it’s very left-field like one I did of Genghis Khan.
“The next one I’m starting is at St Michael’s Primary School in Aigburth, and it’s a leafy scene with squirrels and things.”
There are more than 100 murals to find and you must have the map included in the photo otherwise it won’t count (this is so everyone starts on zero!).
The total prize package for the winner of the Easter Art Treasure Hunt is a signed framed print of choice, the one-to-one art lesson, a visit to their school to present a multimedia talk, and a painting set.
A runner-up will get a signed framed print and an art set.
Once you have collected your photos, upload them to an album on Flickr or Facebook. The closing date for the challenge is April 25, 2022. Once you have loaded all of your photos onto Flickr/Facebook, email Paul using the title “ARRRT COMPETITION”, tell him your total mural count and include a link to the Flickr/Facebook album (do not email him the photos, he says, as it will crash his email!).
Paul says: “I used to love treasure hunts when I was young, so I thought it was something fun to do.
“The feedback is that people have a real sense of pride when I do a mural in their area, that it really lifts the area.
“Doing the Treasure Hunt is not going to fix all the problems in the world, but if it makes people feel positive, even for only a short time, then that’s great.
“So, good luck, and happy hunting!”
To help you find each mural, head to the Paul Curtis Artwork website here and use the interactive map.
NOTE: Some of the murals are indoors and within businesses, so Paul asks that people are respectful to them, and staff, when asking to take a photo.