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Each year, millions of strands of beads are thrown to cheering crowds lining the streets of New Orleans for the weeks-long celebration of Mardi Gras. Many beads, however, never make it into the outstretched hands of the crowd, and instead are broken, left dangling from trees and signs, or simply dropped and can be found lining the streets post-party. MyPetED explains what some groups have done to both clean up the streets and raise money for their causes.
Many beads get caught in trees and become tangled and broken. As true environmentalists, children enjoy re-cycling the broken beads by twisting them into animal figurines. The easiest, most popular animal to make is the dog. These Mardi Gras Bead Dogs are very trendy and various groups like Cub Scouts and Brownies make the bead dogs and sell them at fundraisers.
This year, the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA) took the Mardi Gras Bead Dog tradition a step further, starting Paws on Parade, to create awareness and raise funds and public awareness of animal welfare. Paws on Parade is a series of over 100 giant sculptural versions of the infamous Mardi Gras Bead Dogs. Placed around the Orleans and Jefferson Parrishes until September, the giant bead dog sculptures are hand-painted by local artists and businesses in exchange for a sponsorship donation.
The Travelin’ Gringo writes in his blog,
The statues were cast from a white resin, using a mold donated by Haydel’s Bakery, then turned over to the selected artists for decorating. After painting, the sculptures were clear-coated to protect the finish.
Over 45 sponsors have committed to the project, and sponsorships are still available. The creatively-named levels of support start at “Salvador Doggy” (a $3,000 sponsorship), then “Paw-Casso” ($5,000), and finally, “Ren-Woof” ($7,000, at which level the sponsor gets to keep the sculpture at the end of the installation).
Watch the video below to see one artist’s giant bead-dog sculpture from start to finish, and hear him explain why he participated in the cause.
Do you live in the New Orleans area and see the bead dog sculptures around town? Tell us your thoughts about these beautiful works of public art! Or, to learn more about the sculptures, including the location of each, visit the Lousiana SPCA Paws on Parade website by clicking here.
Image source: http://travelingringo.com/2012/01/mardi-gras-bead-dogs-whimsical-art-with-a-serious-message/, Copyright 2012, Glen Abbott