Artists Announced for 2019 Downtown is Pawsome Public Art ProJect

Artists Announced for 2019 Downtown is Pawsome Public Art ProJect


A new “litter” of Downtown is Pawsome sculptures will come to Downtown this summer, continuing the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District's (BID) popular public art project based on Albany’s famous canine landmark Nipper. Ten new pieces will be colorfully customized by local artists and installed at locations throughout downtown Albany from July 2019 to August 2020, moving to indoor locations for the winter months. Updates on Downtown is Pawsome, including sculpture locations and walking tour map, will be posted here

The artists participating in the new Downtown is Pawsome exhibit are:

A beloved mixed-breed terrier residing in Bristol, England in the late 1800s, Nipper was immortalized in the 1898 oil painting “His Master’s Voice” by Francis Barraud. He became an instantly recognizable mascot for the RCA Recording Company throughout the 20th century, perhaps most familiar to locals via the 28-foot, four-ton statue that keeps guard over the Capital City from a perch atop the former RCA distribution warehouse at the corner of Broadway and Tivoli Street. Celebrating an Albany landmark, a famous American musical icon, and the opening of the Olde English Downtown Dog Park, the BID debuted an initial run of 20 Downtown is Pawsome sculptures in the summer of 2017. The Nipper image resonated strongly with both artists and the public; nearly 90 applications were received for the project’s open call for artists, and the sculptures quickly became local attractions and popular selfie spots for residents and visitors alike. Fifteen of the pieces were auctioned at the end of the initial installation in September 2018, resulting in more than $60,000 raised to benefit future public art projects, the artists, and the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. The homes these one-of-a-kind statues went to included RCA Records, Mayor Kathy Sheehan, and the family of the late Harris Sanders, the Capital Region architect that brought the iconic Nipper to the Albany skyline more than 60 years ago.

“We are thrilled to expand the reach of this immensely popular Placemaking project that strengthens the bond that people have with Downtown. We know that art improves the image people have of their community, and this talented group of regional artists will undoubtedly bring joy and pops of bright color to our streets,” said Georgette Steffens, Executive Director of the Downtown Albany BID. “While each artist will bring something new and exciting to these sculptures, the exhibit as a whole establishes a heightened sense of place-esteem and pride in our Capital City and historic Downtown. Downtown is Pawsome celebrates the unique culture of Albany and helps bring the work of some of the area’s best mixed media artists to new audiences.”

Read the full press release here