Cowabunga! CowParade stampeded Triangle in 2012

CowParade, the world’s largest public art exhibit, stampeded the Triangle from late August through mid-December 2012. CowParade North Carolina 2012 featured 80 painted and costumed cows, all whimsically transformed by regional artists, professional and amateur, from life-sized “blank canvas” fiberglass cows.

Thanks to the support of many corporate sponsors, stylized cows grazed high-trafficked public places throughout Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh, displayed in streets, parks, storefronts and other public places as a veritable free outdoor museum of cows.

Herd locations included the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, the American Tobacco campus and Golden Belt in Durham, and North Hills and Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. The parade also featured several “cows in outlying pastures” throughout the greater Triangle and beyond, as far away as Fayetteville and Wilmington. Download your herd map, and see where they lived during the exhibition.

The life-sized bovines, each with a fanciful moniker fitting her design, measure 8’ long and 5’ high and weigh approximately 125 pounds before application by the artist. CowParade North Carolina’s heaviest work, Lady Carolina Bloo, a UNC “moo-saic” design comprised of shards of Vietri pottery, weighed approximately 400 lbs.

CowParade North Carolina 2012, presented by Wells Fargo for the benefit North Carolina Children’s Hospital, is conservatively estimated to have attracted more than 500,000 visitors to the Triangle during the three-month exhibition.

Following the public exhibition phase of CowParade North Carolina, about 60 select bovines were restored by their artists for live auction at the Battle for the Cattle Gala, held on February 2, 2013. Others were sold through an online auction, and a handful of cows were pre-purchased by their sponsors. Many of the pre-purchased cows remain on display. The event raised about $300,000 from the auctions and sales to benefit N.C. Children’s Hospital.

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