Dogs are good for so many things. They make people feel happy, they make people laugh, and they can even make people donate to a good cause. A public art project in Chicago used German shepherd statues to raise money for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. But it doesn’t end there. So many other cities are commissioning artists to create some pretty amazing dog statues for a good cause.
Anyone who knows anything about Athens, GA could tell you it’s all about the bulldogs. But we’re not just talking about the UGA mascot. Bulldogs have become a huge part of the city’s culture, thanks in part to a public art exhibit called “We Let The Dawgs Out.”
This project was started in 2003 by the Athens-Oconee junior women’s club. They worked with dozens of local artists to install four-foot-tall fiberglass bulldog statues around the town. The project officially ended with an auction in 2010 that raised over $25,000 for AIDS Athens. However, many of these statues remain in the city to this day.
This statue is dubbed the “Downtown Dawg” and was painted by artist Jim Richards. Each letter depicts a different aspect of the beauty of downtown Athens in the fall.
The “BB&T Dawg” sits outside the downtown branch of the BB&T bank. It’s a popular selfie spot that’s loved by tourists and locals alike.
Big guy “Manu” can be found in East Athens. He was painted by Prisca Zaccaria and features the handprints of over 100 children.
NOLA Bead Dogs
Party beads and Mardi Gras go together like peanut butter and jelly. But what happens to all those beads once the party is over? It’s a local tradition for children to take the beads and twist them up in the shape of a dog. Haydel’s Bakery took these “bead dogs” as their unofficial mascot.
When the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) wanted to raise awareness for their cause, they were able to use the bakery’s mold to create giant bead dog sculptures across the city. This “Paws on Parade” project succeeded in raising $89,000 for the SPCA.
Artist Theresa De Melo created this Saints-themed “I Believe” dog as a tribute to the city’s beloved football team. Lynda Woolard and the Woolard Family Foundation sponsored this piece in support of the SPCA.
This nautical bead dog is located near the Algiers Ferry. Named “Our Louisiana,” it was created by artist Lori Gomez to celebrate the city’s rich fishing industry.
Since the SPCA started this project, it only makes sense for them to have a statue of their own. This pup sits outside their office and was sponsored by their board of directors.
Art For Albany
If you’re ever walking around downtown Albany, NY, you might notice a giant dog atop one of the buildings. That’s Nipper, who gained his fame from having his likeness represented in the RCA Records logo. Nipper is a beloved local landmark that has come to define the city of Albany.
To help encourage tourism and as part of their annual public art program, the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District decided to create even more Nipper statues to place around the city. The “Downtown is Pawsome” campaign encourages people to visit all 20 sculptures as a walking tour.
This statue, named “Tulip Festival,” was painted by Myers Middle School. The beautiful floral theme is a unique way to brighten up this beloved bow wow.
Local tattoo artist Melanie Lucia Clarke swapped her tattoo gun for a paintbrush for this project. Her Instagram post shows the stunning detail on her piece entitled “Bright Side.”
John “Gianni” Gaudet is an artist from Albany that specializes in cigar label art. He lent his unique talent to the project with this beautiful and intricate collage.
These beautiful sculptures in Athens, New Orleans, and Albany just demonstrate how powerful art and animals can really be. Bravo to these cities for creating beautiful pieces that look good and do good for the community.
Become an Insider
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong.