Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Jet-pack cow

LOGAN, Utah --Bessie is cleared for takeoff. A sculpture of a cow wearing a jet pack and leaping over a crescent moon will go on display this month in front of the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in downtown Salt Lake City.

Artist Michael Bingham won a $3,000 commission last summer to create a "flying object" and decided on the airborne bovine.

"I read about the commission in the paper and was thinking about things that I could make fly," Bingham said. "I saw these cows and thought, 'These are the least likely animals or objects to fly.' Then, I pictured the jet pack and that was it."

Bingham is shuttling the sculpture around the city of Logan before it goes on display in Salt Lake City.

"I'm on a local board for public art and we're hoping this will be a good conversation starter about public art in the valley," Bingham said.

The cow is life-size and has a jet pack -- complete with flames shooting from it -- on the animal's back. It will be perched on a 15-foot pole when it goes on display in front of the downtown Salt Lake City theater.

"Most people will walk by and go, 'Oh look, a flying cow,'" he said. "They won't realize the thousands of hours it took to make this cow fly."

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