Journal Items

A Different Kind of Bay Area Unicorn

We know lots of great things like Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft started in garages. But here’s something you don’t see very often in a garage: A life-size cow. And not just any cow; we’re talking about a bright colored unicorn-zebra-cow.

 Spotted in the Outer Sunset, San Francisco

Spotted in the Outer Sunset, San Francisco

For the last couple of weeks people passing by Moraga Street between 44th and 45th in the Outer Sunset District, San Francisco became witness of an unusual sight – the birth of an unicorn-zebra-cow. I got commissioned to transform a gray, seven feet long fiberglass mold into street art. The statue will be displayed at the Alameda County Fair and represents the City of Pleasanton. We rented a truck to pick her up from Pleasanton. She weights nearly 150 pounds and was mounted on a wood base to make the transportation easier. The whole painting process was accessible to the public, since the cow was very visible from the street. The mural-painted cow generated more attention than expected. It was fun to see the surprised neighbors.

PaintedCow

Painted cow installations can be found in many cities across the US and around the world, like Boston, Denver, Paris, Edinburgh and Lisbon. Cows are universally loved animals and often used for public art. I put quite a bit of thought into the design, because I didn’t want to use the cow as a regular canvas. I wanted to create a surprising moment - something more creative and sophisticated. That’s why I chose an exotic zebra pattern. The pattern makes the cow distinctive and allowed me to combine very different aspects of Pleasanton in one design. I painted the Pleasanton Arch, horse racing, roses, hops, sugar beets, dairy products and the historic Alviso Adobe on her body.

 Photo Credits: Mary McNamara

Photo Credits: Mary McNamara

The City of Pleasanton named their cow “Miss Penelope”. She will be showcased at the Alameda County Fair from June 16th to July 9th 2017. Over 450,000 people are expected to attend this event and many will come from out of town. I’m very excited that Miss Penelope will be one of the first three painted cows from the Hometown Herd.