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Front Page » Top Stories » Flamingo Art Project Here Inspired By Cows Of Chicago

Flamingo Art Project Here Inspired By Cows Of Chicago

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Written by on March 29, 2001

By Marilyn Bowden
Miami-Dade Art in Public Places has issued a call to artists to embellish 8-foot fiberglass flamingos destined to descend on the county in flocks during a temporary public installation that will last from December to April 2002.

"Flamingos in Paradise" emulates similar events inspired by Chicago’s "Cows on Parade," in which artistically enhanced cows are eventually auctioned off for charity, said Lea Nickless Verrecchia, coordinator of education & community outreach for Miami-Dade Art in Public Places.

"It’s a phenomenon that’s swept the country," she said, with regional mascots taking the place of the original bovine subjects. "We were inspired by them and want to have one here in Miami."

Artists whose proposals are accepted by a Flamingo Review Committee may choose between two poses — wings unfurled or tucked against the body. Accepted artists will be given a blank flamingo and a $1,000 honorarium with which to purchase materials.

The birds may be decorated with paint or collage or the basic flamingo shape may be altered although the application warns "the structural integrity of the flamingo must not be compromised." Commercial messages and advertising logos and icons are unacceptable.

Ms. Verrecchia said she hopes to mount 300-500 flamingos in flocks of three to five, though larger flocks or even single birds may be considered.

"It depends on the sponsors we get," she said. "They would naturally want their flamingos near them. There could be a single one in front of a store. Or I can envision, say, a continuous flock down Lincoln Road.

"They can be anywhere as long as it’s within the realm of public safety and public accessibility, we can get permitting and they don’t obstruct traffic."

The installation’s mission, she said, is to bring the community together in an artistic experience outside the gallery environment.

Ms. Verrecchia said many of the birds will be auctioned off at the end of the exhibition to raise funds for South Florida charities.

Deadline for proposals is April 6.Details: (305) 375-5362 or flamingosinparadise.com

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