The three Pinedale, Wyo., artists who transformed cows into ambulatory art last year now have a video commemorating the event.
Thanks to a $4,000 federal grant,
Duane Brandt, an art teacher at Pinedale High, along with his wife,
Pip, and Sue Thornton, painted the words of a Wyoming pioneer on
the backs of 74 pregnant heifers. Since cows like to mosey in
non-linear ways, the animals quickly scrambled a quote from settler
Phyllis Luman Metal. This movable metaphor for the changing West,
as one of the artists put it, was attacked by columnist Dave Barry,
who said "the idea was that the cows would wander around and poop
on symbolic representations of taxpayers."
artists, whose Kunstwaffen Art Group name means "art weapons' in
German, don't seem too concerned by their critics, who include Pete
Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union. He said, "This project really
gives taxpayers something to beef about," reports the Pinedale
Roundup. Pip Brandt says the interactive work involved the
community, explored the meaning of cultural definitions of both
women and cows, and was entertaining to
What did the words on the heifers
"The ranch was my kingdom. It
was magic. It was my love affair. I loved the land, the sagebrush
hills, the river, the sunsets, daybreak, and as a kid I roamed over
every inch of the ranch and looked at everything. The flowers and
insects and birds I can still see, even down to the colors on the
birds' wings. I loved the lifestyle, the easy concept of time, the
life coordinated with the seasons, the nomadic lifestyle of the
animals going to the mountains in the summertime to graze and back
to pasture and hay in the winter."
The cow video
will premier June 1 at Western Wyoming College in Rock Springs and
show through Aug. 1. For more information write the Kunstwaffen Art
Group, Box 1102, Pinedale, WY 82941.
Bill, HCN intern