CowParade SLO: September 2016 – May 2017
An artistic moo-vement is taking over San Luis Obispo from September 2016 to May 2017. The CowParade is an internationally renowned art exhibit that has tours in cities such as Paris, Milan and New York. This year, the CowParade is making its home right here on California’s beautiful Central Coast. The CowParade chose San Luis Obispo County because of the area’s agricultural heritage, growing arts and culture scene, and thriving ecotourism. More than 200 million people have participated in this event in over 75 cities worldwide and now you can experience this one-of-a-kind art installation while visiting San Luis Obispo.
Life-size, 120-pound fiberglass cows, serve as the canvas for local artists to build their masterpiece. Showcasing their talent while supporting a local cause, the chosen artists have complete creative freedom when designing their cows.
Sponsors place their utterly unique works of art throughout San Luis Obispo County, turning the Central Coast into an intriguing, outdoor art exhibit. Not only do visitors and locals alike enjoy this public art display, the community benefits as well when the cows are auctioned off on May 7, 2017. Proceeds from the auction directly benefit the California Mid-State Fair Heritage Foundation, the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County, ARTS Obispo and other local charities.
CowParade kicks off on September 17, 2016 at the Madonna Meadows from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In honor of the historic Highway 101, all 101 cows will be corralled in the meadows so visitors can get a close look at the various cow creations. Shortly after the launch event, these works of art will be placed throughout San Luis Obispo County on sidewalks, parks, buildings and more.
While perusing these one-of-a-kind cows, you can jam out to live music, sip local craft beer and wine, or catch a bite to eat from various food and ice cream trucks that will be onsite. Plan your trip to San Luis Obispo and experience this memorable, artistic extravaganza for yourself.
Renowned graffiti artist, Man One, will be a highlight of the event, painting the San Luis Obispo Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) sponsored cow in real-time. As an added bonus: Dylan Ehmke, a 11-year-old SLOcal and Man One’s self-proclaimed biggest fan, will be painting a Mini Moo alongside his idol, too. Watch as Man One and his biggest fan Dylan Ehmke paint our cows live during CowParade SLO launch event.
Man One Cow
Based out of Los Angeles, Man One is a famous graffiti artist that has been hired by international companies including Disney, Coca Cola, EA Sports, Blink 182 and the Black Eyed Peas, to create unique, colorful works of art. This year, Man One launched Pantone’s Color of the Year with an original mural at Venice Beach.
Now, Man One will be designing and creating a cow for CowParade. This piece of artwork will be a nice addition to his graffiti mural outside of Just Looking Gallery in Downtown San Luis Obispo.
Marilyn Moonroe Cow
Artist Douglas Turner, an expert in sculptures and fine art, is the man behind the Marilyn Moonroe cow. After studying fine art at New Mexico University, and thereafter moving to Hollywood, Turner became involved in motion picture effects. Creating life-size monsters and giving superheroes’ their muscular physique, his work has been featured in films such as Beetlejuice, Ace Venture, Star Trek VI and more.
Turner brings creative ideas and a high level of skill to his work, which makes Marilyn Moonroe a perfect piece for him. Oozing both charm and sass, this cow was inspired by the iconic Marilyn Monroe scene where the wind blows her dress up. You’ll definitely want to snap a selfie once Marilyn Moonroe is on display in San Luis Obispo.
After the launch event, all 101 cows will be displayed throughout San Luis Obispo County. Visitors can use the Cow Trail Maps to find these pieces while exploring San Luis Obispo. Keep your eyes out while driving because you never know where one will be!
While you’re out herding the cows, make sure to take advantage of the endless things to do in San Luis Obispo. To discover more hidden gems throughout the city, explore our ShareSLO blog and find out for yourself why this is called the Happiest City in America.
- Visit on a Thursday night for the ever so popular Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market
- Kayak through sea caves and explore the Central Coast from the water’s edge
- Peruse the local art galleries for Art After Dark, a night of art, community and culture on the first Friday of every month
- Grab a bite to eat at one of SLO’s famous tri-tip shops: Old San Luis BBQ, Rib Line or Firestone, just to name a few
You won’t want to miss out on the CowParade so make San Luis Obispo your next vacation destination. We promise you’ll have an utterly good time!