Sponsored by the Library
by Michael Broam
popular "Chicago Cows"
in Beaufort, SC
April 15 - July 8, 2000
cows have moo-ved on,
but here's a chance
to visit them all again
in their cyber-pasture!
Sponsored by the Library
About the "Cows on Vacation"
Community Art Project:
Announces Cows on Vacation
(from the Arts Council of Beaufort County Art News,
April 10, 2000)
unique public art partnership between Beaufort and Chicago;
two dozen famous Art Cows to Graze in the Lowcountry
SC - The Arts Council
of Beaufort County and The City of Beaufort
are pleased to announce a unique public art project for the
Lowcounty: Cows on Vacation. From April 15 to early July, over two
dozen of Chicago's famous Cows on Parade will
visit sites in and around Beaufort, South Carolina.
of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs, which operates
one of America's best-known public art programs, brought the Art Cow
project from Zurich, Switzerland. During the summer of 1999, over 300 life-sized
fiberglass cows were decorated by artists and placed in parks, sidewalks,
and outdoor spaces in Chicago. Ten million people saw them there,
and over 30,000 articles and stories have been written about this
simple idea of placing decorated cows in public places.
And this spring
and summer, through a unique partnership with the Arts Council of
Beaufort County, Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs has booked
a small herd on a round-trip holiday to the Lowcountry. "They
lobbied very well," said Michael Lash, Chicago's Director of
Public Art, "and we felt it was a viable and interesting place
to send the cows." Beaufort is the only community to secure a
visit from the celebrated Chicago art objects.
As the local
arts agency in Beaufort, the Arts Council continually tries to add
to the cultural life of the community. "Whether it's planning
art gallery exhibitions, sending musicians and dancers to work with
local schools, establishing Arts in the Park as a successful community
program, or inviting a herd of colorful cows for a well-deserved vacation,
the Arts Council is here to make interesting arts opportunities happen,"
said executive director Eric Holowacz. He added that his office began
proposing the idea for Cows on Vacation last September, after several
Beaufort constituents returned from Chicago and the remarkable experience
of the Cows on Parade project.
to over 200 people in the Windy City, from cow owners and corporate
sponsors to the coordinators and co-chairmen of Cows on Parade. By
December of 1999 over a dozen people had called to commit their cows
to a Lowcountry sojourn. "There was so much energy and excitement,
and I was still not sure that some of the cows would make it to the
Lowcountry" remembers Holowacz, who now had to grapple with logistical
problems, such as shipping, insurance, installation, and locations.
Solutions came in the form of a letter from Lois Weisberg, Commissioner
of Chicago's Cultural Affairs Department. The Commissioner wrote that
she liked the idea, and would look into how her office could share
the famous cows with Beaufort. "It was the glimmer of hope that
Beaufort needed to jump start its public arts efforts," said
Holowacz, "as though we had a guardian angel in Chicago, helping
us beef up Cows on Vacation."
can build and better define a community to itself and to its visitors,
while always celebrating the people, places, and things within that
community. With Chicago's Art Cows, the celebration includes over
300 artists and creative thinkers who put their unique designs onto
blank, fiberglass forms. Some of the Art Cows are abstract and wild,
while some represent people or events, such as the the
great Chicago fire. Others are painted
like a coral reef, a locomotive, Uncle Sam, A zebra, and a lost tourist
complete with map, sunglasses and camera. "When the cows arrive,
they're going to astound residents and thrill the visitors,"
proclaimed Beaufort Mayor Bill Rauch. "I see Cows on Vacation
as being a completely unique thing in a completely unique town."
an Illinois native who originally sponsored an Art Cow for Chicago,
agrees. Caswell's daughter Jennifer, a graduate student in art at
Northwestern University, designed "Don't Blame Daisy," a
reference to the notorious farm animal that may or may not have started
the great Chicago fire. "We're thrilled she's going South,"
said the elder Caswell, "we're going to give her a straw hat
and put a suitcase beside her that says 'Going to Beaufort'."
to vacation in Beaufort are the "DaVinci Cow," originally
suspended from the International Terminal at Chicago's airport, which
will land in the Lowcountry at Penn Center's York W. Bailey Museum.
'Stick Cow," which is covered in hundreds of small branches and
sticks, will be visiting from its original post outside Chicago's
Field Museum. "Space Cow," designed by apprentice artists
at the Yocalli Youth Museum, will recline in the shade of a Beaufort
Cows on Parade
was so successful for the Windy City, that other communities have
begun developing their own public art projects based on a local animal
or object. Instead of merely copying the format, which involves tremendous
planning and resources, the Arts Council and the City of Beaufort
casually invited the project's Chicago organizers and the individual
Art Cow owners to extend the idea to Beaufort with Cows on Vacation.
"I was hoping that we could tap into the most successful art
project in recent history, get Beaufort thinking more about art in
public places, and maybe form a cultural partnership with a major
city," described Holowacz, who is working to develop public art
projects for local artists, schools, and organizations after the Cows
on Vacation have gone home. "This could be the beginning of a
major effort to infuse local creativity with familiar vistas, parks,
and landmarks," he said, "and the Cows could lead to a greater
partnership, and creative exchanges, with Chicago's Cultural Affairs
Department." Beaufort Mayor Bill Rauch agreed: "We live
in one of the greatest arts towns in America, and public art is a
track that Beaufort should be on."
To get there,
the Arts Council asked for local businesses and individuals to sponsor
a cow or help volunteer to make the project happen. "We projected
a budget to cover shipping, insurance, and a few marketing objectives,"
explained Holowacz, "and arrived at a need of roughly $15,000."
Lowcountry National Bank, which will open its doors in May on Lady's
Island, came on-board as the major sponsor for Cows on Vacation. "We
at the Lowcountry National Bank believe that the Arts play a significant
role in the life of our community," said a spokesperson for the
new institution, "and we're delighted to help bring this herd
of Chicago's finest bovines to graze among the live oaks and palmettos."
businesses, such as Athena Corporation, the law firm of Howell, Gibson
and Hughes, and Bank of America, willingly sponsored a cow on vacation.
Corralled by Mary Whisonant, almost a dozen local artists and art
galleries pitched in to support two Art Cows. And at Beaufort's schools,
Kristy Smith and Margaret Rushton have been involving teachers and
students in this public art effort. "The response has been great,"
said Holowacz, "and there's so much excitement and enthusiasm
from all areas of the community. Beaufort has a fun and creative springtime
organizations, like Main Street Beaufort, the Boys & Girls Club,
and Beaufort County Schools all pitched in and developed
innovative projects to support the Art Cows.
organizations, teachers, and creative thinkers have already begun
thinking about public art projects for the summer and fall. The Arts
Council and the City of Beaufort will help in planning and supporting
the continuation of new exciting ideas that connect the arts with
the community. "When they return to the Midwest in July, the
Art Cows could leave behind quite a legacy," said Mayor Rauch,
"and for our small arts town, might just be the start of something
The Arts Council
of Beaufort County was founded in 1991 by a group of community volunteers
who wanted to support the arts and advocate for the cultural opportunities
in Beaufort. Now a fully-staffed professional organization, the Arts
Council continues to develop innovative approaches to the arts In
public policy, education, community service and economic development.
"This organization is entirely dedicated to the community,"
remarked board member Claudette Humphrey, "we might be small
town, but we are generating big ideas."
The Cows on
Vacation public art project will begin in Beaufort on April 15, and
be on display at locations in and around the historic community, through
early July. For more information about cultural opportunities, contact
the Arts Council of Beaufort County at (843)521-4144. For information
about visiting Beaufort, or to learn more about the community, contact
the Beaufort Visitors Center
at (843) 524-3163.
about the Cows
from The Beaufort Gazette
here by permission of the Editor)
The Beaufort Gazette (April
30, 2000), pages 1-C and 3-C.
most unusual vacationers are attracting quite a herd of ogglers.
Since the 28
fiberglass "Cows on Vacation" began popping up around the
county earlier this month, Beaufort residents and visitors alike have
been "mooved" by Beauforts Bovine Public Art Project.
who works in Beaufort Memorial Hospital Radiology Department, became
so enthusiastic about the cows that she set out with her digital camera
to capture images of all the colorful bovines in their settings, from
the Lowcountry Visitors Center at Point South to Hunting Island.
went to Hilton Head to get pictures of the Beaufort cow," Norton
She shared all
her images with equally zealous friends at the hospital who encouraged
her to contact The Gazette. Nortons enthusiasm has
been spreading throughout the Lowcountry.
educational projects are starting to pop up since the cows came to Beaufort,"
said Arts Council Executive Director Eric Holowacz. Beaufort High School
art students in classed taught by Dan Brown and Melba Cooper have started
their own projects. Beaufort Elementary School students also made their
own wooden cut-out of a cow with a sign that says "Got Art?"
Letters to the
editor have even indicated some people have even run red lights looking
at the farm animals strategically placed around Beaufort.
cows are part of the "Cows on Parade" collection of more than
300 on display in Chicago from June through October 1999. A select few
are vacationing in the Lowcountry.
of Chicago had hundreds of offers from different communities and organizations
and they picked Beaufort as a place they could build this partnership
and extend their Cows on Parade and thats how we have
Cows on Vacation," Holowacz explained.
The cows are
here through July 8 from the City of Chicago and its Department
of Cultural Affairs through a partnership with the Arts Council
of Beaufort County, Lowcountry National Bank, who gave $3,000 toward
the project, and individual cow sponsors.
Beaufort maintenance staff and police officers have been a tremendous
help and have become very involved in keeping the cows safe and helping
repair or fix any cows," Holowacz said.
Some interesting facts
about the cows about town:
from Moofort Cownty, South Cowolina, will be a roving cow. Sponsored
by the Greater Beaufort Chamber of Commerce, Cowolina will be redesigned
by area artists, schools or organizations and will travel around the
Lowcountry. Her first voyage was aboard a 50-foot schooner to the MCI
Heritage Classic at Harbortown. Today (April 30), Cowolina will be moved
to Red Piano Too for display throughout next week.
Cow, spreading its wings as it hangs from the ceiling of Penn Centers
York W. Bailey Museum, St. Helena Island, was originally hung in the
Chicago International Airport.
Beach Blanket Bovine wearing a swimsuit, goggles and bathing cap, now
seen at Hunting Islands Visitors Center, was made especially
for the "Cows on Vacation" project.
Stick Cow, on
Display at Beaufort Museum in The Arsenal, was bedecked by a former
Beaufort resident, Martin Giese, whose parents still live here.
A Web site featuring
cow locations and information has been put together by Dennis Adams
of the Beaufort County Library. Visit http://www.bcgov.net/library/Beaufort/cows.htm
The Beaufort Gazette (April
30, 2000), page 1-C.
in painting cows led him to the fiberglass cow he would soon name "Cowolina."
Del Holt has
long been known for his skills in painting animals. So when the Chicago
Cultural Affairs Department presented Beaufort with a blank fiberglass
cow, Holt leaped at the chance to paint the creature.
painting animals because theyre not pretentious. Especially cows
they have such a humorous, whimsical nature about them,"
Holt said. Holt is the owner of Pale Horse Studio in Port Royal.
He had only
one day to start and complete the creation, "but I jumped at the
chance to paint the three-dimensional cow," he said.
Holt said the
gesture made by Chicago was something he, as an artist, appreciated.
I thought it
was great for the artistic community in Beaufort," he said.
it was great for the artistic community in Beaufort," he said.
"Public art is becoming the fashionable thing for cities. And Beaufort
was the instigator in bringing the public art concept out of Chicago."
traveled to Hilton Head for the MCI Classic, and is now back Beaufort.
The cow will
painted by several other local artists, before making trips to ara schools
to be painted by students, said Eric Holowacz, executive director of
the Arts Council of Beaufort County.
The Cows Say "Goodbye" to Beaufort!
(July 8, 2000)
is the text of the Art Council of Beaufort County's invitation to the
Local Arts Cowncil
Cordially Invites you
to a Farewell and Grand Finale for
COWS on VACATION
Saturday, July 8th, Beginning with
A Cow Caravan Parade Down Bay Street
(from Ribaut Road to the Beaufort Museum)
Rustling through town at 11 a.m., then
a Farewell Open House for the Herd
in the Cow Corral
(the Beaufort Museum Courtyard)
on View from noon until 5 p.m.,
then Join other Sponsors, Cowhands,
and Cattle Drivers for a Farewell Reception to conclude
COWS on VACATION
from 7-9 p.m. at the museum.
public was invited to all these events.
Cows Keep Moo-ving ...
(Sightings as of July 2001)
of some of the cows who were here on vacation:
had been repainted by individuals and organizations in
the Beaufort coummunity during its visit last summer (as the "roving
cow," Cowolina had no fixed location or appearance). She
has been grazing in Summerville (SC) in Azalea Park, for the annual
Sculpture in South event. Cowolina's next pasture is an arts camp
for at-risk youth in Sumer (SC). Watch for her again on July 21
(9:00 a.m.) in this year's Grand Water Festival Parade
here in Beaufort.
Cow (formerly Merci Henri, reconstructed after an act of arson
) has received visitors inside the primate house of the Lincoln
Park Zoo in Chicago. Some of Beaufort's wooden shrimp structures
and Walterboro's (SC) catfish joined her as part of City Critters
Harley, Cathy Harter. "Big Pig Gig on Vacation." The Beaufort
Gazette, July 1, 2001; p. 1.