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COW PARADE (article first published : 2004-06-14)

The exceptional response of entries that have come flooding in for Cow Parade 2004 from artists all over the country has caused the organisers of Cow Parade South Africa to extend the closing date of the competition to July 2.

Cow Parade is the world’s largest public art event having been in over 20 capitals worldwide and has really caught the imagination of the world. It is an over the top collection of lifesize cows which are decorated with designs by artists from the cities it has stampeded through and has finally reached South Africa with the campaign being conducted for the benefit of a worthy cause - CHOC (Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa).

From Chicago and New York in 1999 and 2000 to Kansas City and Houston in 2001 and London in 2002, CowParade continues to evolve not just in size but in creativity and quality of art. While the cow sculptures remain the same, each city’s artists are challenged by the art from past events, inspired by the cultural influences of their respective cities, and moved by their own interpretation of the cow as an art object.

In keeping with the year that marks 10 years of democracy in our country, CowParade will showcase the exceptional talent of South African artists, boost tourism and raise much needed funds for children with cancer.

Artists, crafters, designers, architects and art students – either individually, as a group or as a formal organisation – are invited to enter designs for the cows. Successful applicants will then be commissioned to create their design on a cow. Artists will be paid R10,000 for each design selected by the sponsors.

These special cows will join the official herd to be exhibited in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban from September 2004 to March 2005. As well as keeping the crowds amused, the cows have an “udder” job to do. After the exhibition selected cows will be auctioned by Stefan Welz/Sotheby’s and the money raised will go to charity. Any cows not auctioned will be donated to suitable charities or schools after the auction has been held.

Says American CowParade event organiser Peter Hanig: “Art is about breaking down barriers. It gets people to feel, to think, to react. So when you come across life-sized cow sculptures that have been covered in mirrors or gumdrops, cows that have been painted with elaborate themes or transformed into something else entirely, you can’t help but stop and think about what it means. All your preconceived ideas go out the window. Suddenly people see that art can be fun and that art can be interesting to everyone, not just people who frequent museums.”

The event has become a coveted competition for the best and the brightest artists in cities around the world. Famous artists such as Peter Max, Patrick Hughes and David Lynch have all shared their talent as part of Cow Parade.

South African artists from all walks have been entering the competition and are submitting designs for the unpainted bovines, which come in three forms — standing, grazing and reclining. Sponsors are ready to view the work of the artistis and commission the painting of cows. Grab an application form and enter a design to become part of the herd. Submissions will be reviewed to ensure they have a broad appeal, are appropriate for all ages and meet basic Cow Parade guidelines.

More details and entry forms from Buz Publicity on 011 673 4995 or 011 673 9272 or fax 011 388 4404 or email artist@cowparade.net or info@buz.co.za. Artist information is also available on www.cowparade.net




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