The Donkeys Around Town program is a civic initiative of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention. In celebration of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, 57 fiberglass donkeys will be painted by 28 local artists to represent the 50 states, Washington, D.C. and the six U.S. territories. The donkeys, the symbol of the Democratic Party, will be displayed from July 1 – August 23, 2016 at popular sites and attractions throughout Philadelphia. The Donkeys Around Town program will include a social media campaign as well as a scavenger hunt - facilitated through an app that will be created specifically for this program - in order to engage residents, delegates and visitors in the excitement around the Convention and make everyone feel like they are part of the action in Philadelphia during Convention week.
For a complete list of donkey locations, click here to download a PDF, or click here to visit a page featuring photos, listings, ratings and reviews of all the donkeys.
Artist Lynnette Shelley was of the 28 artists selected to participate in this project. She painted the donkeys for Missouri and Oklahoma in a warehouse in Port Richmond along with the other artists over week period in mid June 2016. Some photos of the donkeys are below. You can click here to read Lynnette's blog and photoset documenting the donkey painting process.
Both donkeys will be attached to a steel pedestal as well as have their state names stencilled on their left side. Lynnette's Missouri donkey (the green one) features the state flower (the white Hawthorne), state bird (Eastern bluebird) and the St. Louis arch, while her Oklahoma donkey features a bison (the state animal), state insect (honeybee), the Survior Tree (a memorial tree from the Oklahoma city bombing), and patterns inspired by basket weaving and pottery created by some of the Native American tribes from the region.
Below: Documentary on the Donkeys Around Town Project by John Thornton. You can see an interview with many of the artists on the project, including Lynnette Shelley (her interview starts around the 15.32 mark)