Updated 01/22/2004 07:52 PM
Artist-rendered livestock models will transform the streets of a local Berkshire County community this summer. Sheeptacular Pittsfield! will take over downtown beginning June 5.
The 50 to 75 oversized, fiberglass models of merino sheep will be displayed around town in an effort to showcase Pittsfield as a tourism destination, promote public access to the arts and to raise funds for the city's Artscape projects and school art programs. But why sheep?
Sheeptacular PR Director, Peter Bergman, said, "Merino sheep having been an animal that essentially helped create the city of Pittsfield in the 19th century, the sheep were brought in in the early 1800s, 1806-1807, and the woolen industry flourished here into the 1950s.
The artists who will decorate the sheep will be selected from a pool of over 600 applicants. The finished products will be auctioned off at the end of the summer on Sept. 18, with all proceeds benefiting charities and Pittsfield's artscape program.
In addition to all the full-size sheep that will adorn the downtown streets of Pittsfield, a bunch of mini-sheep have been distributed to all of the public and Catholic schools here in town to be decorated by student artists.
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Bergman said, "Much smaller versions of this very same sheep have been distributed to all of the city schools, both public and private, and they'll be on display at the Berkshire Artisans Gallery on March 1st through the entire month."
Barbara Patton, an Art Teacher at Taconic High School, said, "They think it's a crazy project. They're very excited to be on board and when it gets all over the county, they can feel that they were a big part of it."
The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism has ranked Sheeptacular as one of the top three events to see in the Bay State during 2004.