Friday, August 29, 2014

Colorful pack of wolves hitting the streets and businesses in Abingdon

This is an older post, but given all the dire wolf news of late, I want to remind everyone just how beautiful life with wolves really is. Enjoy!


Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2014 

ABINGDON, Va. — A colorful pack moved into town over the weekend, and is now prowling in and around shops downtown. A total of 21 wolf statues have been painted, named and installed at businesses around Abingdon as part of the third installment of the “Who’s Afraid of Virginia’s Wolves?” project. The project is sponsored by Abingdon Main Street, formerly Advance Abingdon. One of them, A.P. Carter, is a wee wolf pup, standing sentry at Mallory Fine Art. He was taken to his new home Friday morning.

The pup was painted by artist Kristi Taylor, who shows at the gallery, said gallery owner Polly Mallory. He’s named for a member of the famous Carter Family, and his design was inspired by a Carter Family song. “It’s ‘My Home Among the Hills,’” Mallory said of the inspiration for the colorful pup who features a tree landscape in bright colors. “[Taylor] said any time she does a wolf cub, she literally listens to the song.”

Each wolf is different and painted by a local artist, said Susan Howard, executive director of Abingdon Main Street. Some businesses chose their own design, while others teamed up with local artists who had already submitted ideas for the statues. Many of the wolves, which took a trip through Rolling Hills Auto to get an automotive clear coat, will be installed outside, but some will be inside local businesses.

The designs range from Appalachian Trail maps to the wicked witch from “Wizard of Oz” to Doc Holliday, a dapper young wolf who will be installed in the William King Museum.
Six resident artists at the Arts Depot collaborated to design Material Girl, a large wolf who has been painted in a crazy quilt pattern. “Quilting is such a strong facet of crafts in this area,” said Helen Morgan, who along with Joyce Samuel, Jackie Dolpp, Nancy Johnson, Nancy Garretson and Sara Reese painted the wolf. “Each of us took four or five sections ... and we created the crazy quilt.”

The name of the wolf was under debate when a visitor to the Arts Depot saw what the women were working on and suggested they call her Material Girl. “It looks beautiful,” Dolpp said when she saw the finished product.

In addition to the 21 new wolves, one wolf pup from the last pack, installed in 2012, was returned to Abingdon Main Street recently, Howard said. The “Day of the Dead” cub will be displayed somewhere safe, she said.

At the end of the summer, the wolves who were sponsored will be auctioned. Some have been purchased by local businesses. “I love this project,” said Lori Willey, past board president of Abingdon Main Street, who helped Howard take the wolves to their new homes. “It’s an art project and a community project.”