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Almost 2,000 people voted for their favourite character to feature in a new public art trail coming to York in 2024. The votes mean that the bookish Snook, created by Yorkshire artist Sian Ellis, will be the subject of a long form character trail which runs from February 2024.

Snook is a bookish breed, often found in cosy corners with their faces buried inside the pages of a good book. They’ve been here just as long as even The Norman House (the oldest building in York) but they are a little more hidden away than the historic sights of the city that you are familiar with. However recently Snook sightings have skyrocketed, and it looks like these friendly folk have been enjoying some sightseeing around the city walls.

Snooks with Books is created by Sian Ellis, a Yorkshire based illustrator and mural artist whose work is playful, fun and full of humour. She is inspired by the bold and the bright, the weird and the wonderful. Sian has created art on a national scale and in a range of mediums, ranging from detailed fine drawing to twelve foot paintings and even a metre long knitted head band for a fibre glass gorilla! Sian has created a number of murals around Yorkshire and has worked on a number of charity sculpture trails across the UK, with which the sales of her sculptures have to date raised over £100,000 for charitable causes.

Organised by Make It York, with charity partner St Leonard’s Hospice, the trail will see up to 30 Snooks with Books around the city. Each Snook will be sponsored by local businesses, who will be paired with an artist to create a bespoke design for each sculpture. Applications for artists to submit their designs will open in the coming weeks.

Businesses and organisations interested in sponsoring a sculpture can contact for more information.

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “We’re really looking forward to bringing a tribe of Snooks to York in our new character trail for 2024. A huge congratulations to Sian and Snook for winning the public vote, and a huge thank you to our runner-up Christine and Barouse for their support and creativity.”

Dawn Clements, Director of Income Generation at St Leonard’s Hospice, said: “It’s fantastic to hear that Snook has won the public vote and we can’t wait to see the character appear across the city. The trail will be a fun way to help us engage further with our community, not only educating people about our services but also helping to raise vital funds to support people facing life-limiting illnesses and bereavement. We are proud to be partnering with Make It York to represent hospice care in such a unique way and we are also looking forward to working with new supporters and volunteers."

Sian Ellis, artist of Snooks with Books, said: “I am over the moon to be teaming up with Make It York and St Leonard’s Hospice to bring the bookish snooks to York in 2024. After years of hiding in cosy corners with a good book these usually shy creatures can’t wait to come out and explore the city’s streets! I’m really looking forward to seeing how artists from across the region transform each one and excited to see the creative ways that the books that the snooks carry are brought into each design. I cannot wait to see these gentle giants brought to life and hope that families in the city have a wonderful time on their very own hunt for snooks next year.”

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