Chicago has its Cows on Parade display of public art. Now Macomb will be getting something similar.
The Macomb art will be called Rocky on Parade after Western Illinois University’s bulldog mascot.
Art Professor Bill Howard said a dozen fiberglass bulldog sculptures will be created. Residents or businesses will be able to sponsor them for $1,500 - $3,000.
A call to artists within 200 miles of Macomb will be sent out in early January. A committee will choose the winning designs in April.
The sculptures are to be completed in time for WIU’s homecoming in the fall. The pieces will be displayed in the homecoming parade before they are placed in their permanent locations.
“These locations are going to be determined by their sponsors. So if a business sponsors a bulldog, they will put this bulldog out in front of their business or in a place where they choose,” Howard said.
“The intent here is hopefully to draw business or people to businesses.”
He said a “dog walk” map of the sculpture locations will be made available through the Chamber of Commerce, the CVB, and local businesses.
$650 of the money raised by each sculpture will go toward student scholarships at WIU. The rest will pay for the materials and artists.
In a handout to the Macomb City Council, Howard wrote, “When Chicago had its public art event The Chicago Cows, one store noted a $40,000 increase over weekly projected sales due to thousands of additional customers generated by the exhibit.”
Seventh Ward Alderman Clay Hinderliter supported the Rocky on Parade idea.
“Why not? Let’s give it a shot. It’s worked for other venues,” Hinderliter said.
Other similar public art displays are Georgia Southern’s Eagle Nation on Parade and Hawaii’s Geckos in Paradise.