Sunday, September 14, 2014

Oxen Stampeding in Hopewell

Newsflash: Hopewell, NJ has been invaded by 68 oxen!

The 68 painted oxen are all part of the Hopewell Valley Stampede, the largest public works art exhibit in Hopewell. Their website includes links to pictures of the oxen, maps, and trails you can follow to see them. You can also vote for your favorite ox.

On a lovely, but warm, afternoon, Don and I saw about 20 of the oxen. We didn't love all of them, but we admired them, studied them, and took pictures of them.

The exhibit is reminiscent of the Cow Parade movement that was started in 1999 in Chicago (we saw it in NYC in 2000), and is now mooooving to Shanghai. In 2004, we saw giant sculptures of Frogs in Erie, PA. 

Local artists paint the animals. Each one is unique. Many are themed with their location -- such as the one in front of the elementary school has little drawings on it done by students. They are then on display for a couple of months. During that time, online bids are accepted. A few are held back to be auctioned off in person. 

Periodically some have had issues (mostly due to vandalism) and have been taken in for repair. Check the website for details.

In the meantime,they are out and about to be admired through October 19. Kate took her kids around to see 65 of the 68 in one day (three were out for repair or had not yet been installed), so, yes, it is possible to see them all in one day, but it makes for a long day. If you decided to go that route, be sure to visit one of the local restaurants for a snack and to show your support.


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