Saturday, July 5, 2014

Mt. Adoptmore

On this year's fourth of July, Hurricane Arthur did not dampen the start of Chelmsford's 47th Annual Independence Day Parade. Good news for the Lowell Humane Society's (LHS) float participants.

A while back a call for artist volunteers came through  my Western Avenue Studios Yahoo mail from Crystal Arnott, Director and children volunteer coordinator at LHS.  The kids were looking for artists who were willing to volunteer their time to construct large heads of a cat, dog, bird and rabbit for this year's float entry in a local parade.

Their float theme of "Mt. Adoptmore" was indeed clever and a creative choice. The cat, dog, rabbit and birds represented the animals offered for adoption at the shelter. These animals would replace the presidential heads of Mt. Rushmore.  Clever!

Of course I was interested but I was up to my eyeballs in work and commitments like so many of us.  So I waited two weeks and inquired of Crystal how things were going and hoped she had enough volunteers.  Sadly no one came forward. My heart tightened. I reasoned with myself... her call was two months in advance of the parade... no rush. They didn't want the heads yesterday (like most calls for volunteer work), so I gladly answered their request. I had a blast making these heads.

I used cardboard boxes from a local package store as well as an empty studio rag box. I formed the heads by using a few origami techniques such as scoring, folding, reversing folds with the additions of smaller sized boxes, foamcore and duck tape.  These materials would serve as a strong foundation when I cover the surfaces with multiple layers of gooey paper mache.

The heads took a couple of on and off work weeks. They look terrific for not having any set plans to form the heads from cardboard boxes.  I put a final coat of Kilz paint to seal the paper mache just in case of rain which could turn the masterpieces into a heap of floury mush.

I delivered the heads to the shelter and the kids were delighted with the results.  They quickly began work, dipping brushes into donated acrylic paints and turning the plain heads into colorful strokes and patterns. 

I couldn't stay long to watch the gals finish painting and sadly I couldn't watch the parade either but I'm sure everyone had a good time.

Here's my studio version of Mt. Adoptmore placed on the bed of my press before handing them over to Lowell Humane Society.    

Take a look at these faces and find a place in your heart for a sheltered animal.

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