UNC Hospitals welcomes five familiar fiberglass friends from CowParade North Carolina

One year ago, the UNC campus hosted 15 life-sized cow statues as part of CowParade North Carolina 2012. Today five of the exhibition’s cows are on extended display at UNC Hospitals.

UNC Hospitals welcomes five familiar fiberglass friends from CowParade North Carolina click to enlarge CowParade North Carolina makes it to UNC Hospitals.

by Hannah Crain - hannah.crain@unchealth.unc.edu

Last year 79 cows were showcased throughout the Triangle and auctioned to raise money for N.C. Children’s Hospital. The fundraiser, planned by the N.C. Children’s Promise and called CowParade North Carolina, helped raise $300,000.

Today five vibrantly colored cows standing at 5-feet tall and 8-feet long have found homes at UNC Hospitals, where they will “graze” through next summer. Each cow comes with its own spunky name, including Sock Mookey, Handy Heifer, Cowpernicus, Grace’s Cow, and Inside and Outside the Beltway. And each is hand-painted by professional and amateur artists.

The UNC Volunteer Association donated Sock Mookey and Handy Heifer, which sit in front of the Children’s Hospital and Memorial Hospital, respectively. Susan K. Jones and N. Lee Ball designed Sock Mookey as a tribute to the volunteers who made sock monkeys for young patients. Earle Kluttz-Thomspon and Raines Thompson, known for the murals throughout the Children’s Hospital, gathered inspiration for Handy Heifer from their work within the hospital and invited patients to decorate her with their own painted handprints.

Dean William Roper and his wife, Dr. Maryann Roper, contributed Cowpernicus, which now grazes in the Children’s Hospital Butterfly Garden. The statue, designed by Beth Janeway Hallyburton, features a pattern of concentric circles symbolizing art and science. It is the first to be replicated and sold as a miniature at retail locations around the country.

Thanks to Dr. Wesley Burks, chief physician of N.C. Children’s Hospital, and his wife, Jan, patients can enjoy the company of Grace’s Cow in the Women’s Butterfly Garden. Greg Carter designed Grace’s Cow, a winged and bejeweled bovine, to embrace fun and creativity for all ages.

“Grace’s Cow was chosen because we thought that the children would enjoy being able to feel its unique texture,” said Crystal Hinson Miller, director of the N.C. Children’s Promise.

Inside and Outside the Beltway greets visitors, patients, and employees at the front entrance of the Women’s Hospital. The cow was chosen and placed there as a symbol of the many areas of North Carolina from which patients come to UNC Hospitals. Teresa Prichard painted images on the cow as a tribute to her trips with her children to Fearrington Village in Pittsboro.

“The Children’s Promise put a lot of work into CowParade, from setting up the call-to-artists to finding sponsors and display locations to eventually moving the cow throughout the exhibition phase and auction,” said Danielle Bates, communications director for the Children’s Hospital.

Even as CowParade North Carolina comes to an end, the cows continue making a positive impact by lifting spirits around the hospital.

“The kids were excited to see the cows through their windows,” said Bates. “It was a fun legacy to be passed down after the fundraiser ended.”

Of the 60 cows sold at live auction in February, 20 were donated back to the Children’s Promise for placement at locales throughout the Triangle and beyond, where they can be enjoyed by the public. Viva Los Toros, another member of the UNC Health Care community, resides at Chatham Hospital in Siler City. Statue placements outside of UNC Health Care include PNC Arena, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill, the North Carolina Zoo and more. To view the locations of other cows visit http://cowparadenc.com.