Seventeen years after its first appearance in Boston to benefit Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund in 2006, CowParade has returned in 2023 for CowParade New England presented by Herb Chambers. To celebrate 75 years of the Jimmy Fund community, which started in 1948, 75 cow sculptures were created by a diverse range of artists from across New England. Four of the 2023 artists were “boomerangs,” invited back to create another one-of-a-kind “MOOsterpiece” for this exciting Jimmy Fund milestone, which is helping to raise both awareness and funds in support of The Dana-Farber Campaign and its mission to defy cancer. Meet the experts of the Boston-area CowParades: Neil Collins, Howie Green, Carol Leonesio, and Dawn Evans Scaltreto.
Neil Collins is a Cape Cod native, whose love of the ocean led him to a career as an artist. Neil created the New England Patriots Cow, Gridiron Grazer, which is currently on display at Patriot Place in Foxborough, near the front doors of Dana-Farber’s new Foxborough location. Neil is a long-time member of the Jimmy Fund community. “I first attended a Red Sox exhibition game supporting the Jimmy Fund back in the 1980s with my dad,” he shares. “More recently, I have supported the cause through my 16-year run as a contributing artist for the Joe Cronin Fishing Tournament event auction, participation in CowParade in 2006, and holiday card and candle designs for the Institute in 2007, which were used for many holiday sales programs until 2019.”
Neil first heard about CowParade after seeing CowParade New York City, prior to the 2006 display in Boston. He answered the call for artists with a vision for a Cape Cod Cow, Cape Cowdder. Once this was complete, Neil was excited to be asked to create a Red Sox cow, which he designed as a Ted Williams Cow, with a bejeweled World Series ring on one of its legs. “The art I create works well with the whimsical, fun theme of CowParade,” Neil shares. “I’m glad I participated in 2006 to contribute to the Jimmy Fund.”
Neil’s connection to the Boston sports cows continued, as he was asked to create the New England Patriots Cow this spring. Gridiron Grazer features a two-sided design that represents both game day jerseys, which are well recognized within Gillette Stadium and on the road. “It was a challenge working on a three-dimensional sculpture, especially with prominent logos involved,” Neil explains. “At the same time, it was an honor to be a part of this event again and be chosen to create the cow for my favorite football team.”
Howie Green is a native of western New York and is now based in Boston. His artwork has appeared in over 45 solo and group shows, and on more than 100 murals and public art displays for clients across the globe, including CowParade. “I was very happy to create the cows in 2006,” Howie recalls. “It was the first of what has become a second career for me in creating public art events and projects, like butterflies, a church bench, pianos, public utility boxes, and murals. I love it! When I heard about CowParade New England coming in 2023, I was ready and looking forward to being involved.”
Howie was aware of the Jimmy Fund before his 2006 participation, since it is so deeply rooted in the local community. “I remember making donations in movie theaters and at various other encounters over the years,” he shares. “It all came home to roost when a young family member had to go through cancer treatment a few years back. Suddenly it was real.” Howie hopes that his continued participation will allow Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund to continue to offer many services to pediatric and adult patients who are experiencing and will continue to experience life-changing cancer diagnoses.
CowParade New England gave Howie the opportunity to create five full-size cows, and one mini-moo, Peace, Love & Music, with students at the Apollo School of Music & Arts in Boston. Howie’s one-of-kind creations include the udderly amazing Boston Urban Sketcher Cow in Quincy Market; Cowca-Cola in Sam Adams Park at Faneuil Hall, which was created for Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast; Newbury Street Cow, on display at 200 Newbury Street; Peace Dove Cow on the Boston Common; and Umbrella Man Pop Art Landscape Cow, which lives in the Seaport at Martin’s Park.
“Having been in the warehouse at VDA, Inc. for almost three months, I know very well how hard we artists worked to make this crazy project a reality,” Howie says. “All of the folks at Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund and the sponsors who came in and visited have put in long hours and have dedicated their efforts to making this happen for the community.” Howie is grateful for this opportunity for himself, and the other artists involved, as a fun way to display their art to audiences who may not be visiting museums and galleries. “This is what public art is all about, and I can’t think of a cause that’s more deserving,” Howie shares proudly.
Carol Leonesio has been a professional artist for over 25 years, specializing in custom decorative finishes on canvases, including walls, ceilings, floors, and furnishings for commercial and residential spaces. She created The Dictionary Cow in 2006 and continued her “words” theme into her CowParade New England creation, Miss Moosachusetts, which features all 351 cities and towns throughout the state on its body. Her inspiration for this beautiful bovine was vintage postcards. Miss Moosachusetts is standing tall with her glamorous crown on the Boston Common.
Carol enjoyed her participation in CowParade in 2006 and felt even more inclined to participate in 2023 after thinking about the number of friends and family who have been diagnosed since then. Though she wishes her friends and family members weren’t facing these journeys, she has hope thinking about the increase in survival rates from 2006 to today. “If creating a cow brings in funds to support the efforts of Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund, it’s a worthwhile sacrifice of my time, and truly a labor of love,” she shares. “Two of my friends who are currently being treated at Dana-Farber feel they are in the absolute best hands. They love their care teams and feel supported, encouraged, and understood. I hope these cows throughout the city help to highlight all of the good that Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund bring to cancer patients and their families, and how unique this institution is. We are so very lucky to have Dana-Farber Cancer Institute right here in our backyard.”
Last but not least, Dawn Evans Scaltreto is a two-time CowParade artist, who has experienced firsthand what it’s like to have a family member treated at Dana-Farber. Dawn’s sister, Anne, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1982. “My sister’s cancer metastasized and took her life, but in the last 40 years, I know and see how the research at Dana-Farber has improved outcomes and treatment options for those suffering from her same type of cancer,” Dawn says. “I experienced the kindness and care she received, and will be receiving genetic counseling at Dana-Farber in hopes that the results may inform me of what steps I can take to prevent illness, and to protect others in my family who may carry the same genes as Anne. Both CowParades have been the highlights of my career; using creativity to support the work that Dana-Farber does is very special to me.”
Dawn created four full-size cows and one mini-moo, Space Penguins, with senior citizens throughout Greater Boston. Dawn’s herd includes A Great Day at Fenway, on display at Hotel Commonwealth; A Wicked Good Bruins Game, on display at Portal Park outside of the TD Garden; Bill Belicow, on display outside of Ace Ticket in Kenmore; and The Eliot, on display in Jordan’s Furniture in Reading. “I never thought I would have another opportunity to participate in such a fun project,” Dawn shares. “This time was even better. I was at the VDA studio from the start and forged some lasting friendships with the other artists as we bonded over creating our cows.”
Dawn shares similar sentiments as fellow CowParade New England artists about how this public art display can raise money and awareness for Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund. “Public art invites everyone to enjoy creativity, and cows are a great canvas. I like that people will walk over to find out what is going on, and that it could awaken their interest in supporting the Jimmy Fund. These works of art will continue to spread the word and sow seeds of positivity, in celebration of this amazing 75-year milestone for the Jimmy Fund.”
Join artists like Neil, Howie, Carol, and Dawn, and support Dana-Farber patients and families by making a donation to support CowParade New England presented by Herb Chambers today. You can also support Dana-Farber’s mission by bidding on a cow of your own in our CowParade New England online auction. Cows will be released in herds every Monday through August 28. Visit the CowParade website for more information. Your donation will support The Dana-Farber Campaign, our ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign will accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise. As a community, we have the power to create a more hopeful, cancer-free future—in Boston and around the world. Together, we can defy cancer at every turn. Learn more about The Dana-Farber Campaign and how you can get involved at DefyCancer.org.
Meet the cows designed by these talented artists:
See all cows available to own or bid on here.
Thank you for supporting Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund!