Donkeys are being painted to represent different states and U.S. territories, Democrats Abroad and Washington D.C.

Donkeys are being painted to represent different states and U.S. territories, Democrats Abroad and Washington D.C.

Jenna Eason

Why you’ll see painted fiberglass donkeys all over Philly in July

You will see jackasses everywhere in Philly when the Democratic National Convention comes to town.

Well, more specifically, keep an eye out for 57 fiberglass donkeys spread throughout Philadelphia to represent 50 states, five U.S. territories, Democrats Abroad and Washington D.C. It is a part of the Donkeys Around Town program by the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee. The donkeys will be placed around Philadelphia for people to find and take photos with during the convention.

Local artists came together to paint the donkeys, and each artist painted two. The delegates of each state were able to choose six items to have on the donkey, and the artists were required to choose at least three of the items but could include more.

The Artists

“For both of my states, I just did pretty much what they asked for because they asked for things I like,” said Sarah Ryan. “They’re all natural elements, and I like drawing animals.”

Although she usually does art with watercolor paints or with pencil, Ryan said she usually paints or draws pieces that deal with nature and animals similar to the requests of the Alaska and North Carolina delegates.

The closest donkey represents Alaska, and the next donkey represents North Carolina. Both were painted by Sarah Ryan.

The closest donkey represents Alaska, and the next donkey represents North Carolina. Both were painted by Sarah Ryan.

Jenna Eason

Andrew Joseph Grasso said he is a “jack of all trades” in the art world. He painted the donkeys representing American Samoa and the Virgin Islands.

Grasso said there is a good energy around the project, and it was interesting working out of Tioga Marine Terminal with a nice view of the city.

“It’s kind of the only time you get to work with other artists,” Grasso said.

Andrew Joseph Grasso paints the donkey that represents American Samoa.

Andrew Joseph Grasso paints the donkey that represents American Samoa.

Jenna Eason

“I got lucky and got picked to work on this project,” said Jeleata Nicole.

Nicole said she usually does portraits, but she painted the donkeys representing South Carolina and West Virginia for the Donkeys Around Town project.

Jeleata Nicole paints the donkey representing South Carolina. She creates a scene of Myrtle Beach.

Jeleata Nicole paints the donkey representing South Carolina. She creates a scene of Myrtle Beach.

Lynnette Shelley painted the Oklahoma and Missouri donkeys, and she said she was able to add in her own style with the design. Shelley said she paints contemporary animal art and modern myth paintings and was able to incorporate that into her donkeys.

The Missouri delegates wanted and Eastern Bluebird on their donkey, and that is what Lynnette Shelley painted.

The Missouri delegates wanted an Eastern Bluebird on their donkey, and that is what Lynnette Shelley painted.

Jenna Eason
Shelley looked at different patterns on Native American pottery to create the artwork on the Oklahoma donkey. She looked at work from the Cherokee tribe and improvised her own style within the patterns as well.

Shelley looked at different patterns on Native American pottery to create the artwork on the Oklahoma donkey. She looked at work from the Cherokee tribe and improvised her own style within the patterns as well.

Jenna Eason

More Donkeys!

This donkey is so done and could care less.

This donkey is just so done.

Jenna Eason
A variety of floral patterns are seen on many of the donkeys.

A variety of floral patterns are seen on many of the donkeys.

The New Jersey Donkey is rocking the Atlantic City strip.

The New Jersey Donkey is rocking the Atlantic City strip.

Donkey12

Hawk Krall paints the donkey representing New Hampshire, and he also painted New Jersey's donkey.

Jenna Eason

 

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