“Tiger Paws” by artist Gerry Claude

[New Orleans, LA] — For a city accustomed to Lucky Dogs, the luckiest dogs of all may be the brightly colored Mardi Gras Bead Dog statues that are popping up all over town. Lucky for animal lovers and art lovers, at least.

The whimsical sculptures are modeled after the trinkets fashioned from leftover Mardi Gras beads by generations of Louisiana schoolchildren.

Paws on Parade could be called the “pet project” of the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA) – the group’s first foray into the realm of public art. The fundraiser is designed to raise public awareness of animal welfare, support local artists, and help beautify the community.

“A city with public art is a city that lives, breathes and barks,” according to the group’s promotional materials.

“Where Y’at Dog” by artists Caesar Meadows and Jeannie Detweiler

“It’s whimsical, it’s fun, I think it really speaks to the culture of New Orleans and how we approach everything,” says Katherine LeBlanc, communications director for LA/SPCA. “But we’re also talking about a serious issue, animal welfare, and the fact that we have thousands of homeless, unwanted, abandoned animals that come into the Louisiana SPCA every year.”

“We like to say that we’re the voice for the voiceless,” LeBlanc continues. “They [the animals] can’t ask for help. They can’t walk up to us and say, ‘my leg hurts, please take me to the hospital.’ We have to do all that for them.”

Louisiana SPCA is the oldest and largest animal welfare organization in Louisiana. As a 501 (c) 3 private, non-profit organization, it depends on community support to offer its many services, which include low-cost veterinary services, micro-chipping, spay/neuter programs, pet adoptions, education and pet obedience classes.

For Paws on Parade, the LA/SPCA sent out a call to artists, and received over 100 sketches in response. The statues were cast from a white resin, using a mold donated by Haydel’s Bakery, then turned over to the selected artists for decorating. After painting, the sculptures were clear-coated to protect the finish.

Over 45 sponsors have committed to the project, and sponsorships are still available. The creatively-named levels of support start at “Salvador Doggy” (a $3,000 sponsorship), then “Paw-Casso” ($5,000), and finally, “Ren-Woof” ($7,000, at which level the sponsor gets to keep the sculpture at the end of the installation).

“Starry Starry Night” by artist Frankie Demelo

The statues will be on display throughout Orleans and Jefferson Parishes until September 30th, after which they will be auctioned off at LA/SPCA’s Howling Success Gala in November.

Last year, LA/SPCA took in more than 7,000 unwanted, abused, or neglected animals, and found homes for over 1,600 of them. So when you see one of the bright Paws on Parade bead dog sculptures around town, the organization hopes that maybe you’ll smile, and think about ways you could help.

“We did this for the animals of our community,” says LA/SPCA’s LeBlanc. “Because what they need is our help. Every dollar, every sponsorship, every conversation that’s started because of this project is going to benefit the community of animals that we have in New Orleans.”

The essentials:

Louisiana SPCA

1700 Mardi Gras Blvd.

New Orleans, LA 70114

504-368-5191

http://la-spca.org/

More information/map with sculpture locations: http://la-spca.org/pawsonparade

SLIDESHOW:

Paws on Parade

"Tiger Paws" by artist Gerry Claude

Paws on Parade

"Tiger Paws"

Paws on Parade

"Tiger Paws"

Paws on Parade

"Tiger Paws"

Paws on Parade

"Where Y'at Dog" by artists Caesar Meadows and Jeannie Detweiler

Paws on Parade

"Where Y'at Dog"

Paws on Parade

"Where Y'at Dog"

Paws on Parade

"Where Y'at Dog"

Paws on Parade

"Starry Starry Night" by artist Frankie Demelo

Paws on Parade

"Starry Starry Night"

Paws on Parade

"Starry Starry Night"

Paws on Parade

Original Haydel's Bakery Mardi Gras Bead Dog

Paws on Parade

En route to installation (photo courtesy LA/SPCA)

LA/SPCA

Louisiana SPCA

LA/SPCA

Louisiana SPCA

LA/SPCA

Louisiana SPCA

LA/SPCA

This guy is awaiting adoption

LA/SPCA

Awaiting adoption

LA/SPCA

Awaiting adoption

"Tiger Paws" by artist Gerry Claude"Tiger Paws""Tiger Paws""Tiger Paws""Where Y'at Dog" by artists Caesar Meadows and Jeannie Detweiler"Where Y'at Dog""Where Y'at Dog""Where Y'at Dog""Starry Starry Night" by artist Frankie Demelo"Starry Starry Night""Starry Starry Night"Original Haydel's Bakery Mardi Gras Bead DogEn route to installation (photo courtesy LA/SPCA)Louisiana SPCALouisiana SPCALouisiana SPCAThis guy is awaiting adoptionAwaiting adoptionAwaiting adoption

About Glen Abbott
Glen Abbott is a Florida-based travel writer & photographer specializing in motorcycle touring and travel. He is regular contributor to Harley-Davidson's HOG Magazine, and his travel features appear regularly in motorcycle magazines and other publications.

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7 Comments
  1. Stephen Mayer

    January 30, 2012

    This balloon figures look like so pretty.
    Stephen Mayer recently posted..Imroz Restaurant

  2. adventureswithben

    January 25, 2012

    They look like Balloon Animals!
    adventureswithben recently posted..How American Airlines Customer Service Failed Me 3 Times

    • Travelin' Gringo

      January 25, 2012

      Yeah, kinda the same idea, Ben — instead of balloons, they use beads (just not for the statues!)

  3. Courtney Mroch

    January 25, 2012

    WOW! That is some funky, but very cool, art. I LOVE inka’s comment. That’s perfect.
    Courtney Mroch recently posted..Can You Help? Paranormal Group Collecting Donations to Benefit Cancer, Veterans & Mental Health

  4. inka

    January 25, 2012

    What creativity and for a good purpose. I’d like one of those to keep my ‘doggie’ company.
    inka recently posted..Art Deco masterpieces in Istanbul

    • Travelin' Gringo

      January 25, 2012

      You’re right, Inka, the statues are pretty cool – I’d like one too, just don’t think I could afford one!

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