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 Holy Cow: SRU Art Students Selected to Decorate Bovine for 'Harrisburg Cow Parade' 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:



          SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Most art students start with a blank canvas, but two SRU art majors – Jennifer Clugsten of North Huntingdon and Nicole Fiedler of Allison Park --  are starting their latest project with a life-size blank cow as part of the world-recognized “Cow Parade” project.

          Unusual, but true. The 100-pound, white-fiberglass cow will be part of an outdoor, public art exhibition coming to Pennsylvania’s capital city, Harrisburg, later this year under the auspices of the Whitaker Center for Science and Arts which launched the parade as a fund-raising event. The Whitaker serves as the center for scientific, artistic, cultural and educational activities in the Harrisburg region. Major businesses, industries and individuals throughout the capital region are sponsoring cows.

          Similar, “Cow Parades” have been held in 15 cities around the world, including New York, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, London, Zurich and Sydney. Additional displays are planned this year for Dublin, New Zealand, Atlanta, Brussels and England. Pittsburgh recently hosted a similar dinosaur display.

          “Cow Parade Harrisburg 2004,” sanctioned by the Cow Parade Holding Co., has been joined by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Foundation, which purchased a $6,000 cow for each of the 14 state system universities, including SRU. An in-house competition conducted by the university’s art department selected the winning entry from some 35 submitted, according to Thomas Como, assistant professor of art and in charge of overseeing the project on campus.

          The SRU art students say their winning design, which earned them each a $500 scholarship from M&T Bank, with regional headers in Harrisburg, will make use of their photography talents as well as their artistic interests. The winning SRU design calls for applying various black-and-white photographs of cows to completely cover the 4-foot tall figure. “From a distance, the photos will look like the black-and-white spots commonly seen on dairy cows – and only when the viewer comes closer will they realize the ‘spots’ are actually photos of cows,” explains Clugsten.

          Once completed in mid-March, all of the system-created cows will be herded to Harrisburg for display at the system’s Dixon University Center and the downtown Capitol Complex. The parade has already garnered substantial media attention in The Patriot News, one of the state’s largest newspaper. The system’s 14 cows are part of a 130-150-member herd set for display throughout the Carlisle-Harrisburg area from April through June. They will also be seen at the State Farm Show Complex where they will be auctioned with part of the proceeds going to the charity of the sponsor’s choice.

          All system-decorated cows will be joined by those from such well-known artists as Bruce Johnston and Simon Bull, a London artist. They will also be featured in the Harrisburg Cow Parade book, and there are tentative plans for creating a miniature collection of pins and figurines for sale on the eBay auction site.

PN, PgN, WPN, PR, PTV          

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