See it: Artists prepare for 2021 CowParade at Industry City

Billy the Artist paints a bull  before the cow parade.
Billy The Artist beautifies a bull for the upcoming CowParade.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Cows will be looking to keep the city moo-ving come August during the return of the famed CowParade.

The public art event dates back to 2000, when a three-month display of ceramic cows helped bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars for New York City non-profits like God’s Love We Deliver, this year’s primary sponsor.

Colorful cows will be on view from August through September at Industry City, where 75 different artists from around the world are currently putting the finishing touches on their not-so-livestock. At the end, the carefully curated cows are put out to pasture — and sold by auction to the highest bidder.

Artist Peter Tunney poses with his submission for the 2021 CowParade.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Though CowParade began in New York, organizers say they’ve gone on to stage another 90-plus public art exhibits in 34 countries worldwide. To date, more than 6,000 life-size fiberglass cows have been transformed by countless creators, and this summer marks CowParade’s 100th international event.

Billy The Artist, a creator who has participated in the CowParade since its first Moo York Celebration, said the show’s stars were chosen for their playful but gentle nature.

Artist Kamila Zmrzla gets creative with her cow for this year’s CowParade.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

“Cows were our chosen animal of choice because they are seen as whimsical, quirky and never threatening,” he said.

For the Manhattan-based creator, this year’s CowParade feels like a homecoming.

“I painted the first cow to be presented in the first CowParade 20 years ago,” he told Brooklyn Paper. “I am happy to be back and help such a wonderful organization.”

Cows waiting to be painted.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Since 1985, God’s Love We Deliver has produced medically tailored meals for children and families, while serving as caretakers for those who cannot provide for themselves.

For more information on the CowParade NYC 2021, visit www.glwd.org.