DONKEYS AROUND TOWN
SUMMER 2016, PHILADELPHIA
The Donkeys Around Town program was a civic initiative of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention. In celebration of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, 57 fiberglass donkeys were painted by 28 local artists to represent the 50 states, Washington, D.C. and the six U.S. territories. The donkeys, the symbol of the Democratic Party, were displayed from July 1 – August 23, 2016 at popular sites and attractions throughout Philadelphia. The Donkeys Around Town program also included a social media campaign as well as a scavenger hunt - facilitated through an app that was created specifically for this program - in order to engage residents, delegates and visitors in the excitement around the Convention and make everyone feel like they are part of the action in Philadelphia during Convention week.
Artist Lynnette Shelley was of the 28 artists selected to participate in this project. She painted the donkeys for Missouri and Oklahoma in a warehouse in Port Richmond along with the other artists over week period in mid June 2016. Some photos of the donkeys are below. You can click here to read Lynnette's blog and photoset documenting the donkey painting process.
Both donkeys featured a steel pedestal and have their state names stencilled on their left side. Lynnette's Missouri donkey (the green one) features the state flower (the white Hawthorne), state bird (Eastern bluebird) and the St. Louis arch, while her Oklahoma donkey features a bison (the state animal), state insect (honeybee), the Survivor Tree (a memorial tree from the Oklahoma city bombing), and patterns inspired by basket weaving and pottery created by some of the Native American tribes from the region.
Please click on images to view at full size.
Photo Set of the DNC donkeys and artists (including Lynnette Shelley) by Pete Bannan of Main Line Media News
Article and interview with Lynnette Shelley (and other artists) by Main Line Media News reporter Linda Stein.
Article and interview with Lynnette Shelley (and other artists) in the Philadelphia Inquirer / Philly.com.
Article and interview with Lynnette Shelley (and other artists) by Billy Penn news site.
Article and interview with Lynnette in the Kansas City Star
Article and interview with Lynnette in the Delaware News Journal
ABC / Action News broadcast.
CBS News Broadcast
NBC News Broadcast
Action News 4 Pittsburgh / WTAE news broadcast
Philadelphia Magazine article
CBS Philly broadcast
Associated Press article on MSN.com
NY Post article
2016 DNC Convention Donkey Hunters: Blog with pictures, descriptions and locations of all the donkeys.
Daily Local article regarding subsequent controversy on the Donkeys Around Town project. Features interview with Lynnette Shelley.
Interview with Lynnette Shelley on CBS Philadelphia and The Chris Stigall Show on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT. (August 8, 2016)
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