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I Painted a Bear for our City Art Project – Bearfootin’ Artwalk

Bearfootin painting

In my lovely town of Western North Carolina, as in a growing number of cities across the country, we have an annual city art project involving hand-painted fiberglass animal statues. Ours is called “Bearfootin’ Art Walk”. I have assisted students in painting 6 bears over the past decade but never had the opportunity to paint one myself, until this year.

The bears are sponsored by local businesses and organizations, footing the initial cost of the fiberglass form. The sponsor chooses a local artist and also a benefiting non-profit. The statues are displayed in the city for a given amount of time, then auctioned off. Profits are split between the beneficiaries and the city.

This year The Friends of Carl Sandburg asked me to decorate their bear in the theme of Carl Sandburg’s “Rootabaga Stories”, which he wrote for his own children. It was a perfect theme and so much fun to work on.The bears will be auctioned off in October. Our beneficiary is, of course, the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site.

I am really grateful for the opportunity to have my artwork on display on Main Street all summer, even more so because the Carl Sandburg Home is near and dear to my families heart. It is a five minute drive from our house. We have had family portraits there, taken countless hikes there, toured the home, and played with the goats.

In this video I’ve created a time-lapse capture of the painting process. I also tried to recreate the ART WALK tour for those of you who aren’t close enough to check it out in person, including credits to all the artists, sponsors and beneficiaries. If this is your first time visiting my YouTube channel, please consider subscribing while you’re there to get new videos from me every Monday and Friday.

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