Cows On Parade Essays and Papers

This essay has a total of 1205 words and 8 pages.

Cows On Parade

Cows in the City.

Chicago - the Windy City… Famous for its skyscrapers and the Magnificent

Mile, this summer Chicago was embellished by a new landmark, or landmarks to be more
exact. Nearly 300 cows have found a temporary home in the streets of downtown and its
buildings. This extensive public art project, organized by the Chicago Public Art Program
, commemorates the city's industrial history, while bringing a sense of community and
beauty to Chicago's citizens and tourists. In this "parade", every cow is full of meaning
as well as artistic value. Although many might argue, I, to the contrary, would like to
applaud the City of Chicago for the implementation of this great project.

This project's idea was brought to Chicago by Peter Hanig, after he saw a similar

project in Zurich. From the North Michigan Avenue Business Association, the "cow" idea
found its way to the Department of Cultural Affairs . This is how it all started. Sponsors
commissioned artists, and the cows were on their way.

It is difficult to make a clear statement of whether the sponsors were trying to advertise
using the cows or just participate selflessly in this magnificent "parade". Some cows,
such as "Give the Lady what She Wants" with shopping bags on its back is obviously nothing
other than advertising for the Marshall Field's & Co., the cow's sponsor. The same can be
said for the "Mooving Eli", near the Eli's Cheesecake, which also doesn't disguise its
advertising nature. Some people are disgusted to call this form of advertising a public
art program.

However, it is not completely fair to blame sponsors for wanting to use the cows for their
own benefit. If cows were bought with tax money, then this issue would become really
controversial. Many people, with whom I will tend to agree, understand that although some
cows are used for advertising, there are many cows that actually beautify and enrich the
city of Chicago by their presence.

One of the examples is the "Stampede" cow, near the historic Water Tower. This cow
achieves an incredible much in terms of promoting the city and is a true example of a
public art figure that celebrates the city's diversity of events. This cow is painted with
images of Chicago's celebrations, such as the "Taste of Chicago", the "Venetian Night" and
the air show. It is mostly delightful to see a smile on little children's faces as well as
the faces of adults.

It is, in my opinion, the objective of a citywide art project to promote the city,
celebrate its history, history of its people and boost its economic growth. When "Cows on
Parade" are analyzed as an inseparable part of Chicago, it is easy to see that all the
above mentioned criteria are met. Cows have it all: history, economic boost and promotion
for the city. The "O'Leary Memorial" and the "Don't blame Daisy" cows commemorate
Chicago's fire, as it is obvious by the names. The "Don't blame Daisy" cow is particularly
interesting, since it has a picture of the present day Chicago skyline in its eyes. It
creates the image that the cow is looking into the future. This is image is quite
inspiring; it depicts the city's triumph.

This project gave our city a sense of community employing maternal looking animals.
Although not a primary reason, it is known that cows are linked to Chicago's industrial
past, when Chicago was the "meat packing" city. As in terms of economy, the impact of cows
is tremendous. It is probable that this year more tourists visited Chicago than before.
People who do not often find themselves in downtown, such as my parents, have made it a
point to see and experience cows' impact. This, of course, creates a snowball effect,
benefiting various public services and enterprises starting from the CTA, downtown
restaurants and stores, to parking garages, boat tour lines, taxi companies and the Navy
Pier. Economically, this project is definitely a winner.

"A winner for whom?" people ask in the streets. A homeless man inquired how many hungry
people one cow could feed. People are questioning the necessity of this project.

"I think the whole idea is borderline amoral. $3,500 - $11,000 a cow? My wife and I are
foster parents and have to make every dime count and have to battle for services and
support for the 5 wards of the state in our home. And there are over 40,000 kids in
Illinois like that. Where are our priorities?"

However, difficult the issue, Chicago needs public art just like it needs museums, which
people do not seem to mind. I agree that the money that cows are going to make during the
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