The Moooving Art Project features a continually changing herd of fiberglass painted cows designed to promote the city of Shepparton's dairy industry.
Moos Not Roos
The Moooving Art Project has been a Shepparton, Australia staple since 2002 but unlike milk past its expiry date, the public never sours on these colorful cows.
Shepparton is home to around 50,000 people, many of whom are employed in the agricultural industry. In appreciation of the considerable impact farming has had on the local economy, the Greater Shepparton City Council instituted the Moooving Art Project and ordered up a few dozen fiberglass cows in various poses.
Melon Cowly Baby
The next step was hiring local artists to paint the cows... and as you can see, the sky's the limit when it comes to design. The creativity involved in composing these bovine compositions is not to be underestimated. Depending on the location of a cow, the artist may be asked to fit their artwork to match the local business.
Cream of the Crop
While the paint used is rated to be weather-resistant, it also must be amenable to easy removal with no toxic waste products produced. The superb “Strawberry Cream Cow” above is showing some sun-damage on its nose, a product of the brilliant weather in southeastern Australia.
Some works last longer than others with public feedback a key denominator of their longevity. Eventually, however, every cow has its day and is destined to be repainted and repositioned somewhere in or around Shepparton.
Mooin' At Work
Being public artworks, the Moooving Art Project's painted cows are always out in the open and unlike actual cows (or dinosaurs, for that matter), they can't escape or fight off threats.
Situations have occurred over the years where vandals, drunk or otherwise, have purposefully damaged one or more of the cows. Dudes, if you've got a beef, why take it out on a cow?
The damage in some cases has been irreparable. It's no small expanse to replace a cow, by the way – the fiberglass forms cost roughly $5,000 each, plus other costs for repainting and repositioning the artworks. Taxpayers end up footing the bill.
Overall, the Moooving Art Project has been a roaring success and, like a cow in motion, doesn't appear to be stopping anytime soon. The public, city authorities and the corporate sector have all embraced the program and it's become the city's main claim to fame.
Speaking of which, the cows are designed to be removed as required, either for maintenance or to appear at commissioned business promotions and prearranged events such as store openings. Just don't think of rustling any: they're all boldly monogrammed where the sun don't shine. (Moooving Art Project image above via WebUrbanist, all others via Mertie .)