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Irvington News

New Art Installation Celebrates Irvington’s Mascot

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June 1, 2023

By Rick Pezzullo–

Bulldogs have long been the mascot of the Village of Irvington school district, signifying strength and courage, particularly among its sports teams.

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A new art installation pays tribute to the beloved symbol in the form of the Bulldog Walking Gallery 2023.

Residents of Irvington and visitors are encouraged to tour the outdoor exhibition along Main St. and Bridge St., which, when all are in place, will feature 20 whimsical bulldog sculptures painted by local artists.

Each of the three-feet-tall bulldogs stands proud on a podium. The artists’ work ranges from a bulldog decorated in a camouflage version of the American flag (which sits in front of the village War Memorial on Main Street) to a gem-studded canine that catches the sun. Other themes include clocks, flowers, and doggy paw prints.

Many established businesses in the village, such as Galle Modern Furnishings, Greenfield Plumbing & Heating and Lenco Tiles, have sponsored one of the bulldogs. A sponsorship costs $1,000, 25% of which goes to the artist with the remaining 75% earmarked for beautification projects in downtown Irvington.

The Grand Marshall bulldog stands guard outside McVickar House atop Main Street

The installation was the idea of artist Kristina Schmidt, head of the Bulldog Gallery Committee. “We have a lot of charm in our town already, but our exhibition is a wonderful addition,” she said.

Schmidt said she came up with the concept during pandemic-inspired road trips where she saw similar installation artworks in towns like Saugerties, Catskill and Cairo, which had displays of fiber-glass replicas of animals such as owls, bears, and cows.

“These unique sculptures are a hit with locals and tourists alike,” Schmidt said. “They’re a fun talking point and will hopefully boost the local economy as people spend more time in downtown Irvington.”

Artist Selene Smerling, whose bulldog “Time and Memory” has been placed outside Irvington village hall with its signature clock tower, said she was delighted to be part of the project.

Artist Kristina Schmidt with one of her bulldogs

“I’ve always been fascinated by clocks and watches,” said Smerling, whose bulldog is decorated with different kinds of time pieces.

The bulldogs will stay put until September when the sculptures will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.




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