FAQs

How long does CowParade SLO County last?

CowParade SLO County will display its cows for 7 months,  September 17, 2016 through April 30, 2017. The public display is followed by a live auction, which will take place May 6, 2017.

How many cows are in CowParade?

San Luis Obispo County has chosen to have 101 cows, since Highway 101 stretches through our region from end to end. Other CowParades have ranged in size from 32 cows in Auckland, New Zealand, to 450 cows in New York City. The average event has 75 to 150 cows.

Where are the cows displayed?

The cows are displayed throughout the county, along streets, in parks, and other public places, turning our region into an outdoor art exhibit of life sized cows.  All of the cows can be seen by the public, free of charge.

Who are the artists?

CowParade SLO County opened its event to all artists in the host region, as well as some outside applicants. Painters, sculptors, craftsmen, architects, and other creative and artistic individuals are welcome to submit a design for selection. While the blank cow sculptures remain the same, each city’s artists are challenged by the creations from past events, inspired by the cultural influences and history of their cowmunity, and moved by their own interpretation of the cow as an object of art.

Are the artists paid for their work?

Yes, each artist is paid a $1,000 stipend per cow. In San Luis Obispo County, an artist can opt for a $500 stipend, plus 10% of the of the auction price. CowParade has contributed well over $3 million to artist communities around the world.

What are the cows made of?

The cow sculptures are made of flame-retardant fiberglass. The cows weigh approximately 125 pounds before application by the artist. For public display, the cows are mounted to bases weighing approximately 200 pounds.

How big are the cows?

Life Size.  The cows come in two basic positions – standing (head up) and grazing (head down). The standing cow is 95″ (L) x 29″ (W) x 57″ (H) and the grazing cow is 84″ (L) x 29″ (W) x 48″ (H).

Do the cows ever get damaged or harmed?

Too much public affection, and sometimes vandalism, does take its toll on the cows and some cows need repair during and after the public display. Organizers and volunteer artists will staff our Cow Hospital to make repairs if a cow is injured.  French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo is the Official Cow Hospital Partner.  Cows receiving triage can be viewed by the public during normal business hours at French Hospital.

What is the highest selling cow?

The most ever paid for a cow at auction was $150,000 for Penny Bull, a cow sculpted into a longhorn steer and covered in pennies. It was part of CowParade Austin, Texas, and created by artist Tao Labossiere.

How does a cow become a figurine?

CowParade’s line of figurines is among the top collectibles in the world. Each figurine is an exact replica of an authentic cow created as part of a CowParade event. There are more than 500 figurines in the collection. Approximately 8-12 cows from each event are reproduced and become part of the collection. There is no set system for selecting cows for reproduction.