I grew up in Stamford, Connecticut. As a teenager, Downtown Stamford was the place that I went to hang out with friends, buy clothes and pretty much see anything that was cool in my little town. In the year 2000, Stamford introduced "The Cow Parade". The Cow Parade was an outdoor, public sculpture exhibit of life sized, fiberglass cows designed and painted by local artists. I was not a part of this project as I was settling into my life as a wife and mom and didn't think I had the chops to be a professional artist honestly. I did however think that it was a very cool idea and enjoyed going downtown to see the painted sculptures.
In January, 2015 when I decided to go full time with my art I also decided that I would take advantage of every opportunity that came my way. One of these opportunities was "Dinosaurs Rule". Stamford has been hosting these public art exhibits regularly since the cow parade and now was my chance to finally be a part of it! I submitted four designs in all because that was the maximum per artist (why not right?). Then I eagerly awaited the response to see if any of my designs would be chosen and sponsored by the jury.
A couple of months later in March while at a body art convention in New Orleans I received a call from Lynn of Downtown Special Services District. Lynn asked me if I was certain that I could handle two dinosaurs and I was a bit confused because I hadn't heard anything prior to this call. She basically explained that two of my designs "Blues Player" and "Adorned" were both chosen by the jury and sponsored and she wanted to make sure that I would be able to complete both pieces within the allotted time of about six weeks. I could barely contain my excitement and immediately told her yes!
"Adorned" was a design created for the triceratops fiberglass figure. Her design (yes, she's a girl) was inspired by the adorned Indian elephant. While I am not Indian nor do I know much about the culture, I hold in very high regard their love and respect of elephants and I find a lot of inspiration in Indian Art. The basic design concept was that she would be painted gold with a round, colorful caparison adorned with gem stones and glitter. Her frill (head piece) and horns would be painted to match and both the caparison and frill would be decorated with henna inspired designs. After about 2 gallons of paint and varnish, over 2,000 hand laid acrylic gems, six tubes of heavy duty auto adhesive, four gold paint pens, 1/4 lb of polyester glitter and 52 hours of collective work and drying time she was complete! Never in my wildest dreams would she have turned out the way that she did. The Stamford Marriott Hotel and Spa graciously sponsored Adorned. She sits right outside of the valet section of the Stamford Marriott until late August when she will come back into the studio for repairs and a public auction in the fall. I was very excited to learn that the image chosen for the invitation for Stamford DSSD's annual summer fundraiser "A Grand Summer Night" was "Adorned".
"Blues Player" was a design created for the Tyrannosaurus Rex fiberglass figure which stands about nine feet tall and four feet wide. His design (yes, he's a boy) was inspired by the 1940's Blues player. I happen to love music, blues and especially the saxophone. The basic design concept was that his skin/scales would be blue since he is a "blues" player, he would wear a black tuxedo with red and white accents, customized cuff links a fedora and tuxedo shoes resembling spats. His saxophone was to be constructed out of PVC pipes, spray-paint, adhesive, rhinestones and metal rods. After some input from some of my followers on social networking I decided to name him Rexxy T. (Like Kenny G.) Rexxy took about 1 gallon of paint and varnish, a few other materials and 30 hours of collective work and drying time. Steve Hoffman/Atlantic Associates generously sponsored Rexxy T. He sits right outside of 264 Atlantic Street until late August when He will come back into the studio for repairs and the public auction in the fall.
All in all this was a fantastic experience that was worth every moment of time and energy spent. I'm looking forward to next year's sculpture exhibit and applying again! Check out the catalog and map here!