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San Diego CowParade Art Event

Cow Parade pictures

January 3 - March 31, 2009


CowParade Public Art Exhibition experienced its California Debut in San Diego in 2009

CowParade, the world’s largest public art event, featured a San Diego debut with the display of 200 life-sized fiberglass cows transformed by artists from San Diego and Tijuana. For three months from January 3 to March 31, 2009, the cows were displayed around San Diego. Cows dotted the region’s landscape with more than 1 million visitors expected to see the cows in San Diego. Local businesses, hotels, restaurants and retailers will sponsor the cows individually or in multiple groupings or herds.

An auction of the top 50 cows at the end of the exhibition raised funds to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital, The Zoological Society of San Diego and the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership. It is estimated the post-exhibition auction will generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for the local nonprofit organizations.

Through an open call-to-artists in the San Diego/Tijuana region which began June 10, CowParade San Diego has invited painters, sculptors, craftsmen and multi-media artists to participate in the exhibition. Each artist whose design was selected was paid a $1,000 honorarium upon completion and approval of their transformed cow.

CowParade San Diego also reached out to local students in a design competition that will give many their first exposure to the creative process and allow them to design their own “minimoo” cows — perfect miniatures of the full-sized versions — for public display.

An artists' lab and cow warehouse for participating artists at Liberty Station enables those without adequate studio space to work on their full-size cows in a communal setting, open for the public to observe the life-size bovine works in progress.

CowParade has been held in more than 50 cities on six continents and has been seen by more than 100 million people. It began in Chicago in 1999, and has evolved in size, creativity and quality with exhibitions in cities such as New York, Paris, Mexico City and Buenos Aires. The event has raised more than $25 million for charities worldwide through live and online cow auctions at the end of each city’s exhibition.

CowParade San Diego was made possible through sponsorships from the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, Liberty Station and the California Milk Advisory Board. For more information regarding CowParade San Diego sponsors, beneficiaries, artist submission process, sponsorship opportunities, education program and event specifics.


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