‘Moo’ving in

‘Moo’ving in

A herd of 117 cows have invaded the city of Boston, and there’s nowhere to hide.

Part of the largest public art exhibit in the world, CowParade is more than just decorated, lifesize fiberglass cows.

From New York City to Lisbon to Athens,the parade takes place all over the world. The sculptures are on display for a few months, then auctioned off for various charities. Millions of dollars have been raised and this year’s Boston CowParade, which kicked off in June, is sponsored by and benefiting the Jimmy Fund of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said Lisa McEvoy, spokeswoman for the Jimmy Fund.

“The Jimmy Fund has done a lot of work with the CowParade in Boston,” McEvoy said. “It is the first exhibit benefiting the Jimmy Fund and we are very excited at the response the herd is getting. We were very excited when the CowParade people sought us out.”

Each city has a “call to artists” where anyone can submit their idea for decorating a cow. A committee, which includes representatives from the CowParade, reviews the submissions and chooses artists to begin working on the exhibit. There were 400 art submissions for Boston’s CowParade.

Residents and visitors can admire the artistry of the CowParade while walking through the city or they can take it a step further and create “scavenger hunts,” McEvoy said.

“People can just print up the cow map on the CowParade Web site (www.cowparade.com) and try to find all the cows in the city or specific ones; you can turn it into a great outdoor activity,” she said.

For Northeastern students, finding a large portion of the herd takes nothing more than a short stroll from campus.

Some of the cows grazing the streets of Beantown include A Streetcow Named Desire, currently residing on the corner of Dartmouth Street and Newbury Street. Also on Newbury Street is the Bilingual Cow, which speaks French, literally, through a recording. She also sports Eiffel Tower earrings. There are cows in just about every neighborhood, with many roaming the Copley Square area in front of the Boston Public Library and surrounding the Trinity Church.

In the Prudential Center courtyard, a cow is decorated in classic Bruins colors, as well as a Patriots Cow and Celtics Cow. In Copley Place next to the Marriot hotel, the Emerald Necklace Cow boasts a map of the gardens around Boston and dons a delicate – what else, emerald necklace.

Each cow has a small silver plaque on its base with the cow’s and artist’s names. The concept of the CowParade was initially conceived for an exhibition in the streets of Zurich, Switzerland. Since then, the CowParade has taken the world by storm and features many different art themes and schools in each city, with an emphasis on the city’s culture and history. The theme of this specific exhibit is to remind residents of Boston’s pastoral roots as a grazing area, as Boston Common was once a pasture.

At the conclusion of the grazing event, the cows will be herded up and auctioned, with a substantial portion of the proceeds benefiting charity. The Chicago auction in 1999 raised $4 million for charity, including $1.4 million online and $2.1 million at the live auction assisted by Sotheby’s. This year’s live auction will be held at the BostonMarriott Copley Place Hotel Sept. 21.

Since the public is allowed to pet the cows, some damage may be incurred, which is where the Cow Hospital comes in. Set up in the Prudential Center near the Sheraton entrance and diagonally across from Au Bon Pain, the hospital is a place artists can bring the cows if they need repairs or touch ups. It is also the place to get your cow fix, with CowParade figurines, t-shirts, pins and much more.

On July 23 and Aug. 20, there will be a “Meet the Artists” event when each artist will stand by their cow between noon and 3 p.m. talking to the public about their work.

To find out more about the CowParade and print out the Cow Map, head to www.cowparade.com and click on the Boston icon.

Where the cows graze

Here are some of the locations for cattle near campus:

A Street Cow named Desire Location: 150 Newbury St. Design by: Laurinda Bedingfield

Bilingual Cow Location: 200 Newbury St. Design by: Coco Raynes Association

Emmy, the Emerald Necklace Cow Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place Design by: Dawn Evans Scaltreto

Patriots Cow Location: Prudential Center Design by: Veronika Loginova

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