Columbia Philanthropist Chuck Crews has selected ten local artists to work with ten sponsors and ten charities to paint fiberglass tigers, similar to the CowParade art project that has been featured in cities around the world.
The Perlow-Stevens Gallery hosted the kick-off for "Tigers on the Prowl," where sponsors got to meet their artists, and representatives from each charity to view one of the tiger sculptures.
Each sponsor contributed $2,500 to fund the project and Crews' Cost Cutters franchise donated $5,000 as the presenting sponsor. "Finding the sponsors has been one of the easier parts of the project," Crews said. Columbia's cultural affairs department assisted Chuck in locating local artists to work on the tigers.
"I found an application flyer about a week before it was due and filled it out," said Kayla Peterson, a Columbia College freshman working on a tiger. Her idea is a patriotic themed tiger inspired by her veteran grandfather who recently died of cancer. Her sponser is Veterans United Home Loans.
"It's a new experience and a new opportunity. I've never done anything so big, with such a wide audience," said Peterson. Proceeds for her tiger will benefit local Christian charity, In2Action.
When all ten tigers are finished, the Columbia mall will contribute another $1,000 to hold a gala for the tigers and display them around the mall. The tigers will then be auctioned off at an event this fall to raise awareness and funds for the ten charities.