When we embarked on this project, the intent was to raise awareness that there is a Food Pantry at the First Church. A subset to that awareness is who the guests are that benefit from what the pantry offers.
How does one explain that in food labels?
How does one explain that neighborhood children receive food, school supplies and Christmas presents all because of the church's Food Pantry?
When we started decorating the dog with food labels, we found that if we applied a circle of one color or subject to the dog, that the overall composition of the dog could have dominant and sub-dominant visual areas (art-school speak). One of the areas that was reserved was one for children.
A good parent knows that they need to be able to provide for their children. When circumstances are such that a parent cannot provided food for their child, it hurts. It's defeating. It comes with a sadness that is not easy to console.
The area at the back of the dog's head was saved for something special. It was saved especially for the kids.
A major food manufacturer has a series of canned pasta products with super hero labels on them: Supergirl, Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman! Apparently, just what kids are into this summer! They are brightly colored, fairly nutritious, easy to prepare and fun. A busy parent can treat the pickiest of eaters with an easy meal that their child will like and be happy with.
Artists always have concepts but the real test is when their project is put out, literally, on the street.
The day that Cleeo was installed in front of Clee Park I stayed around for a little bit to take photos. Stepping back a bit into the park, I noticed a very cute little girl, about the same size as the dog, come up to the dog alongside with her mother and grandmother. She looked at the dog, petted the dog and exclaimed with glee, "Oh look! Batman!"
Yes! Pow! and Wow!She noticed! Her mother noticed! Her grandmother noticed!
Many other children have since come by to visit with Cleeo. We are hoping that other parents and families notice and will know that, if needed, the Food Pantry is there.