Hopping up for charity

archive_import /

By SUNNY LOCKWOOD

In the weeks ahead, Diane Gray hopes to kiss a lot of frogs, one of which could become a prince or a lumberjack, or a cowboy or Elvis.

The 60-pound fiberglass hoppers are the stars of a fund-raising project being launched today.

Gray, executive director of Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce, and Penny West, executive director of Calaveras County Arts Council, have started a community art project to rival the Painted Cows of Chicago and the Painted Ponies of Albuquerque.

It's called the Painted Frogs of Calaveras, starring the amphibian made famous by Mark Twain.

The 4-by-4-foot frogs molded in Chicago are, in effect, blank canvasses for imaginative artists.

"We hope that at least 30 businesses or organizations will sponsor frogs," Gray said.

A sponsor pays $1,500 to $2,000 for the blank frog and $500 for an artist to transform it into a work of art.

"I'm hoping that each one will be beautiful," said West, "some of them playful, others just expressing the imagination of the artist."

Designs expressing cultural and historical as well as clever and whimsical themes are welcomed, according to application forms for the project.

So far, artists have submitted designs for a cowboy frog, a rock 'n' roll frog, a contractor frog complete with nails in his mouth and a pencil behind his ear and others.

The prototype frog, to be unveiled tonight at the Chamber of Commerce dinner, sports a redwood forest, a field of grazing cows and other views of Calaveras County. It was painted by Mountain Ranch artist Kate Culver and is on display at the Chamber office on Main Street in Angels Camp.

Gray's vision for the Painted Frogs of Calaveras project includes significant publicity for each frog, sponsor and artist. She plans to publicize the project far and wide, print a map for tourists and locals who wish to check out each colorful croaker and hold unveilings as sponsors install their painted frogs.

11703996
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Tuesday May 31, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Sheriff’s deputies respond to alarm at Sonora KFC

05/26/2016

Tuolumne County sheriff’s deputies responded with guns drawn to a holdup alarm ... more

UPDATE: Probe begins in Don Pedro fire

05/25/2016

Investigators began sifting through the rubble of the Don Pedro Recreation Agency ... more

Tense board meeting ends in resignation

05/26/2016

After months of turmoil between the Mother Lode Fair Board of Directors ... more

Curtis Creek sixth-graders meet Sonora’s homeless

05/28/2016

Makenna Pfeiffer, 11, had spent months preparing for the clothing giveaway for ... more