14th February 2017

A special piece of artwork and outdoor mural to celebrate Special Olympics National Games in Sheffield in August 2017 - is being unveiled today in Sheffield City Centre.

This very exciting and ground breaking collaboration between professional Sheffield digital artist Greg Harris, local art students with intellectual (learning) disability and athletes from Special Olympics GB sees famous Sheffield landmarks celebrated and combine with the images of local icons and Special Olympics Sheffield athletes. Special Olympics GB thank greatly Loop Print from Harvest Lane in Sheffield for kindly donating their services to print the mural and also to The University of Hallam for allowing the mural to be erected opposite Sheffield train station on their estate. Sheffield Artist Greg Harris said: -I sat down with Special Olympics athletes and art students from Art Works in Sheffield who informed me of their thoughts and ideas and also what characteristics and passions they wanted to see in the piece of outdoor art. -The Art Works students also produced outstanding pieces of work which demonstrated what the Special Olympics Games means to them and that inspired me and this final piece. -The quality of the initial art completed and displayed by the local students with learning disability to inspire our piece of work to celebrate the Special Olympics National Games in August 2017 demonstrated real talent, passion, vibrancy and inspiration from people with disability. -I am very excited about this and I believe this outdoor city centre art mural between people with and without learning disability will be extremely engaging and I am so honoured to be involved. -As someone who had learning difficulties as a child, attended special schools in Sheffield and told that I might not make much of my life, I am overwhelmed to see so much passion and talent within these students and athletes. I only see their ability. -The Special Olympics athletes are going to shout from the highest buildings and arenas in Sheffield next summer how brilliantly talented they are and I hope everyone will be listening and watching. -I wanted to incorporate a feel of sporting celebration and Special Olympics athletes surrounded by Sheffield icons. I know a lot of Sheffielders have fond memories of these iconic landmarks. -I wanted to pay a tribute to Special Olympics' athletes, Sheffield and these iconic landmarks. Chris Gray from Loop Print said: -We are delighted to be associated with Special Olympics GB National Games and support this piece of artwork. It is terrific that such a prestigious event like this is coming to Sheffield and a great advert for the city and all it has to offer. Liz Carrington, from Art Works, said: -We feel privileged to be a part of such a special project and event. The members of Art Works are full of excitement for our collaboration with the athletes and Greg Harris. After our session with the Special Olympics athletes and Greg the student artists were overflowing with inspiration and ideas. We are all really looking forward to the 2017 Sheffield Games. The final piece of work will be erected in a prominent position in Sheffield Centre across from the train station until the end of the Games in August 2017. The piece of art will be 98 inches tall by 192 inches wide (approx. 8ft tall by 16ft wide) on the hoardings of Sheffield Hallam University on the current building construction opposite the main train station in city centre. The art is modern, uplifting, passionate, vibrant and embodies the spirit of sport, humanity, human endeavour, Special Olympics and Sheffield all inspired under the banner of #SeeingIsBelieving - the Special Olympics GB National Games' slogan. For all enquires contact Chris Hull of Special Olympics GB on 07713193927.

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