Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bearfootin' in Downtown Hendersonville ~ Public Art

It's always an honor to create something lasting, something for a community, and something that will benefit an important organization. Recently I was involved in a public art project for downtown Hendersonville. Every year generous businesses sponsor a bear, team up with an artist to paint the bear with a decided theme, and put the bear out for display in the downtown. At the end of the season, in the Fall, the bears are auctioned off to benefit a community organization.
Sculpture of Bearfootin' Bear

This year I teamed up with Morris Broadband as my sponsor. With Morris Broadband being such a positive force in the community and an active supporter of the Arts, they chose the Arts Council of Henderson County as their organization to benefit from the auction.
I was very excited to receive the Mama Bear and Cub sculpture to paint, as I had just recently painted a similar painting of a bear and her baby.
The theme I chose to present on the sculpture was called "Together We Can", which I felt portrayed the community support and the arts, pulling in the aspects of Morris Broadband and the Arts Coyuncil of Henderson County.
"Together We Can...support one another.
Together We Can...support our community
Together We Can...support the Arts
Together We Can...make the world a more beautiful place"

Beginning of painting the Bearfootin' Bear
With that in mind I began painting the basis of the bears...shades of black, umber and honey brown on their noses, and details of the eyes.
Base coat on Bearfootin' Bear
Once the basis of the bears was painted I decided how to portray my theme. I chose to have the bear cub as an artist, learning how to express and paint, and so began the details of the cub. A large tree silhouette was painted on the mama bear's back. Each leaf was a different vibrant color, having been painted by the cub. In the cub's hand was a tree branch on which he had painted "Together We Can", and an open paint can sits in front of him. A paintbrush is held in his other paw.
Tree Silhouette on Bearfootin' Bear
"Together We Can" Bearfootin' Bear by Jeanne Fry
Once the bears were completed it was time to deliver them to a local body shop where they would receive their clear coat that would protect them from the elements while on public display.
"Together We Can" Bear by Jeanne Fry after the Clear Coat

Bearfootin' Bear ready for display in Downtown Hendersonville
After the official "Reveal" celebration, the bears are placed at various locations in the downtown. "Together We Can" is shown in front Flight Restaurant, which is near the Arts Council of Henderson County. Many thanks go out to American Doll for adopting the bear ( taking them in at night and bring them back out in the morning), Morris Broadband, The Arts Council of Henderson County, and Downtown Hendersonville for the wonderful opportunity to create "Together We Can".

Here was my recent visit to see them on display...
"Together We Can" by Jeanne Fry

Together We Can.....

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