Friday, November 30, 2007

Art parade book features SV Labs

Express Staff Writer

?America ArtParades (When Pigs Flew, Guitars Rocked, Horses Danced & Cows Jumped over the Moon).? $34.95 by Karlymm Keyes and Rod Backer

Around the country for several years there was an amazing array of painted animalia (and other oddities) temporarily installed in various cities and towns, sparking cultural tourism along the way. Amusing, artistic, striking, clever and mostly charitable, this parade of art has been captured in a coffee table book called "America ArtParades (When Pigs Flew, Guitars Rocked, Horses Danced & Cows Jumped over the Moon)." It chronicles 87 public arts projects, and is being sold only by the sponsors of each project.

Made of fiberglass, the first project was cows in Chicago in 1999. What followed was a veritable menagerie of concepts: The Big Pig Gig in Cincinnati, Nashville's Guitar Town, the Utah Buffalo Round-up, Turtles in Tybee, Gallapalooza in Louisville, Ky., the Ewe Revue in Rochester, Mich. and Pandamania in Washington D.C.

In 2001, the Summer of Labs came to Sun Valley and Ketchum, spearheaded by animal activists Terry Tischer and Lynn Stallard. Painted, adorned and attired pooches hung around the streets and welcomed folks to business, restaurants and galleries. Among those who painted a lab that year were Wood River Valley artists Mary Roberson, Martine Drackett, Carol and Scott Glenn, Jamie Lee Curtis, Andy Hawley, Ted Villa and Ginna Lagergren.

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One of the most remarkable projects was the Trail of Painted Ponies, in Santa Fe, N.M., and Carefree, Ariz., which eventually became a touring show that included a stop in Sun Valley for a "Dog and Pony Show" in 2006. That auction—also organized by Tischer and Stallard—benefited the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley and included a few newly painted and decorated labs as well.

How did this start? It began as many things do, in Europe, where in 1998 painted cows were displayed in Zurich, as seen—and then co-opted—by a Chicago resident. One cow led to a bear led to salmons and within a few years more than 200 communities had reaped similar fun and spirit.

The level of creativity in each of these civic projects is remarkable.

To find a copy of the book, call 726-1115 or visit Tails West Gallery in Ketchum.

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