UCB is a member of The Big Hoot parliament

July 2015

Birmingham has seen an increase of owls this summer, courtesy of Wild in Art’s The Big Hoot event. 

Local businesses, artists, communities and schools have been sponsoring giant, individually-painted owls to demonstrate Birmingham’s culture and creativity whilst raising funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Alongside well-known businesses such as the Birmingham Mail, Free Radio and the National Seal Life Centre, UCB has helped to design their own education-inspired feathered friend – and he goes by the name of Owlbert. 

Owlbert celebrates UCB as one of the UK’s outstanding providers of vocational courses. His design incorporates the wide range of career areas available to our students on completion of a qualification: catering, sports, hospitality, education, childcare, tourism, bakery, business, marketing, events, hairdressing, beauty, make-up and health. 

Local artist Meghan Allbright, who was chosen to paint Owlbert, said:

I was so happy to hear UCB wanted something colourful. Combining collage with illustration is one of my favourite ways of working. His concept came from needing a way to tie all the skills together in a fun yet cohesive way. I began with a tree as a great symbol of growth and balance - perfect for an educational institution. This meant I could draw elements growing in it to be 'shaken off' the branches to create other scenes surrounding it. It was perfect base to 'animate' the skills provided by UCB courses. I also added extra details and hidden things that I knew people would spend time trying to find. There was a lot to play with and that's important to make a good design. I hope people enjoy it.

Meghan Allbright

There are over 210 owls perching around the Birmingham area – 89 giant owls and over 120 owlets. The trail begins in the city centre and spreads its wings to Sutton Coldfield, Winson Green, Kings Heath and many places in between. People can spot night owls, cartoon owls, wise old owls, jewellery owls and owls that celebrate Birmingham’s landmark architecture, history, places, people and cultural diversity. 

Richard Riley, UCB’s University Secretary, said:

UCB is delighted to be able to support the Birmingham Children’s Hospital through our sponsorship of Owlbert. Meghan has done a great job capturing the vocational nature of our courses and we encourage all who visit Birmingham to follow The Big Hoot trail this summer to find Owlbert and his friends in support of the exceptional work the hospital carries out.

Richard Riley

For more information on The Big Hoot and where to find its parliament of painted owls, visit their website. If you see Owlbert when out and about in the city, don’t forget to send us a tweet @UCBofficial.

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