Ryan Edwards | Daily Texan Staff
Last night 49 cattle were herded onto the backs of three flatbed trucks and dropped off across the Austin landscape. The installations were part of the international organization CowParade, an art installation in which artists use a fiberglass sculpture of a cow as a canvas. The pieces go through a selection process, which involves an application process. To date, some nearly 5,000 cattle have paraded across the world and in this year alone the organization has events planned in eight cities. By the end of August an additional 40 statues will be added to the exhibit. As part of a charitable aspect of the event, CowParade Austin has partnered with Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. At the end of the three-month public exhibit, about 50 of the best sculptures will be sold at a live auction benefiting the medical center. CowParade has raised more than $20 million for non-profit organizations worldwide.
The Long Center hosted a public viewing of the cows the night before they were set to hit the streets. Participation at the event was aided by the fact that Michael Jackson’s jacket from the “Thriller” video was on display for partygoers to take pictures with. One lucky participant won a blank cow and will have the opportunity to work with an artist on the design of the piece. After the end of the event, volunteers quickly began preparing the cows for their migration throughout the city. Concrete bases were attached to each cow in assembly line fashion and placards were glued on. Each flatbed laden with an array of cattle turned heads as the team placed the statues around the city. The majority of the cows are concentrated in downtown Austin, however a few wandered as far north as highway 183. The cows will be on display until mid-October, when they will be auctioned off at The Driskill Hotel.