Acclaimed artist, The Love Child, signs his painted cow on display at the CowParade in Industry City. Photo: supplied.
Acclaimed artist, The Love Child, signs his painted cow on display at the CowParade in Industry City. Photo: supplied.

These are cows for a cause.

CowParade, an international public art exhibit for charity, is hosting its 100th event in Brooklyn at Industry City.

Starting August 18, the cow sculptures will be ‘pasturing’ in all five boroughs until September 30, when they will be auctioned off for a greater cause.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit God’s Love We Deliver, a New York City non-profit that cooks and home-delivers nutritious, medically tailored meals for people too sick to shop or cook for themselves.

Brooklyn artist Sophia Dawson (center) and guests attend the CowParade 2021 launch event. Photo: supplied.

Each fiberglass cow sculpture is customized and decorated by an acclaimed array of artists, from contemporary art icons and well-known graffiti artists to eclectic designers and celebrity supporters.

This roster includes Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Peter Tunney, Billy the Artist, Daze, Dapper Dan of Harlem, Hektad, Cey Adams, Amy Denet Deal, and many more.  

“The participating artists pour their hearts and souls into their cow masterpieces to inspire, awe and, most importantly, bring smiles to the faces of those who encounter the cows,” Ron Fox, vice president of CowParade, said.

“The dedicated team of event professionals at God’s Love has brought together the most diverse group of artists in our 21-year history.”

Karen Pearl, President & CEO of God’s Love We Deliver. Photo: supplied.

Karen Pearl, president and CEO of God’s Love We Deliver, said the funds from the auction would be especially vital after their clientele base increased by a record 30% due to the pandemic.

“COVID, of course, was its own challenge,” Pearl said. “The money from this fundraiser will go toward feeding our clients. We are really working hard to find everybody who qualifies for this program.”

With the help of chefs, nutritionists, dieticians and 17,000 volunteers, God’s Love We Deliver serves 500,000 medically-tailored meals a year to people with over 200 different diagnoses; 22% of God’s Love We Deliver’s clientele are in Brooklyn.

This event commemorates a full-circle moment for God’s Love We Deliver, as the nonprofit served as one of several beneficiaries from the first NYC CowParade event in 2000.

God’s Love We Deliver started in 1986 in NYC in response to the AIDS epidemic and, since then, has grown to nourish clientele with over 200 different diagnoses.

Brooklyn artist Peter Paid poses with “Beau,” his painted cow. Photo: supplied.

So, why cows?

“They are kind of universal,” Pearl said. “Think about when you were little — one of the first things that kids ever learn is that a cow says ‘moo.'”

That, and they make a great canvas for artists, according to Fox. CowParade, in its more than 20 years, has raised over $20 million for charities around the world.

This year’s CowParade artist studio is sponsored by CLEAR, with additional sponsors including Benjamin Moore; Amazin’ Mets Foundation and Baccarat.

Additional locations include Hudson Yards in Manhattan, Bronx Community Community College in the Bronx, New York Hall of Science Museum in Queens and the National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island.  

Until August 18, all 78 cows are grazing at Industry City and can be visited by the public.


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Miranda Levingston

Covering everything Brooklyn. Twitter: @MLevNews

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