Animals Abound

Third Time's a Charm
They say that things happen in threes. And here at Rossi Studios, we'd be hard-pressed to disagree. Within the past month, Karen has gotten three calls from three different organizations asking her to paint an animal for their charity event. It all began with "A Bear Affair," northwestern Connecticut's public art project to raise money for five of the region's organizations. Next came West Hartford's "Cow Parade 2007," followed by the creation of a whale for South Windsor, CT.

Addicted to Animals
Public art projects, such as the ones Karen is participating in, have become very popular over the past decade. The "Cow Parade" was the original event that spurred on similar displays around the world. "Cow Parade" began in 1999, with the first project taking place in Chicago. Since then, many local organizations have adopted similar events to raise money for their charities or specific causes.

Karen's Crew
The gang of animals that Karen has been entrusted with has been undergoing some major transformations. The bear is currently residing in Karen's Norfolk studio, where it is being covered with a landscape of the town of Norfork. Local landmarks such as the Manor House and Greenwoods Theatre, along with several churches and historic homes are depicted on one side of the bear. Tobey Pond is painted on the opposite side, making the bear quite a well-rounded depiction of the quaint CT town.

Mooovin' on Up
"Flossie the Cow," which is being sponsored by Avon Dental, is the animal that has been given the biggest facelift thus far. Woodland Auto Body and its owner, Howard Weiner, donated their efforts to transform the cow into a Tooth Fairy. Fiberglass artist and Woodland Auto Body employee, Russ Simmons, artfully crafted wings for the cow using cardboard patterns that Karen provided. He also used a mold of a crown from Avon Dental to create a crown for the top of the cow's head. Finally, the cow was finished off with the smiling mouthful of shiny teeth. Karen is in the process of working her magic as she paints the cow in her whimsical, trademark style.

Avon Dental Group is hoping that Flossie will help to make patients and children more comfortable in a dentist office. Other goals from sponsoring the cow include contributing money to the Dental School at UConn and creating local high school scholarships for young adults who are considering the health field.

A Whale of a Project
The most recent addition to Karen's animal projects has been the Whalers whale. The first ever reunion of the former Hartford Whalers hockey team provided the inspiration for this piece. The blue and green colors of their original logo are now the color scheme of the whale. Plans for finishing the whale include a hockey scene, complete with the members of the Hartford Whalers team. Karen's former high school classmate, Boo Shephard Quenville, organized the reunion and Karen's participation. The whale will benefit a charity that's yet to be determined.

Animal Kingdom
So, it might be safe to say that Rossi Studios has been a bit of a zoo lately. With a bear, a cow, and a whale on our project list, we have certainly been busy painting, decorating, and conjuring up the ways to turn white fiberglass creatures into colorful, Rossi masterpieces.