‘CowParade’ art auction raises $1.5M
Hosted by Jay Leno, the cows will have new homes
Updated: Monday, 14 Nov 2011, 2:59 PM CST
Published : Monday, 14 Nov 2011, 2:59 PM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) – Sunday night’s auction of 60 painted fiberglass cow statues from “CowParade Austin” well exceeded expectations as more than 1,200 attendees took part in the event and raised $1.49 million to find the cows new homes. The event was hosted by the Tonight Show’s Jay Leno.
The artistic statues have graced the streets of Austin the past three months, but now will be moved to locations of the buyers’ choosings.
The artsy animals sold in the live auction segment had final bids ranging from $10,000 to a world-record-breaking $150,000 and an average bid price of $33,660.
CowParade auctions in other parts of the country have raised, on average, $7,500 per cow, according to event organizers. Twenty cows that were not sold on the live auction block were sold at a silent auction immediately following the live event, and went for a minimum of $2,250 each, up to $10,000 per cow.
CowParade Austin Honorary Chairwoman Lucy Baines Johnson purchased the Vince Young Championship Longhorn, created by Scott Tao LaBossiere, for $150,000. It is a steer covered in more than 8,000 copper pennies that has been featured since the opening the Vince Young Steakhouse.
“Cowch,” a seated cow sculpture that features a cowhide sofa by artist Rebecca Wolfe, was purchased for $150,000 by an anonymous bidder.
The previous CowParade cow sale record was $146,000, set in Dublin in 2003, featuring a collection of Waterford crystals, proving just how generous the residents of Austin are when it comes to supporting the local community, according to event organizers.
“As an avid collector, I’ve experienced a number of high-profile auctions in my day, but I don’t think anything as fun or compelling as what we put on in Austin last night,” said Milton Verret, founder of U.S. Money Reserve , the presenting sponsor of CowParade Austin . “Everyone seemed to have an incredible time at the event and most importantly, we raised a huge sum of money to support families whose children are fighting cancer and blood diseases thanks to the hard work of Mr. Leno, our auctioneer Spanky and my friend Dean Leipsner.”
Leipsner is CEO of U.S. Money Reserve.
The event was staged at The Moody Theater at ACL Live on Sunday, with famous auctioneer Spanky Assiter in charge of the bidding.
Superhero Kids co-founder Samia Joseph, along with her husband, John Joseph, who is a partner with Coats Rose, Yale, Ryman and Lee, P.C., created the organization to support children and their families confronted by cancer and blood disorders.
“We’re utterly speechless at what transpired last night. We can’t thank Milton Verret, U.S. Money Reserve and this community enough for their keen eye for creative art and for their unbelievably generous spirit,” said Samia Joseph.
All winning bidders had their pictures taken with their prize cow sculptures and Leno. CowParade Austin sponsors and those who made donations of more than $500 for a ticket to the event were treated to a VIP reception where they had an opportunity to meet the popular Tonight Show host.
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