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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.