Do not expect these animals to look anything like the real thing.Kyle Highsmith's vision is quite colorful.The Raleigh artist has the task of creating an example of whatwolves, placed all around Raleigh, could look like.
Highsmith had fun coming up with a James Dean-like image.
"It's suppose to be the tough, lone wolf personality with sort ofa soft heart -- somebody that'smisunderstood," he says of his creation.
Highsmith says the public art project, sponsored by the Raleigh Arts Commission, will be funfor artistsandresidents who come to see what has been dreamedup.
Similar projects were done with cows in New York andChicago,moose in Toronto andpigs in Cincinnati.
One of the hardest tasks for organizers was selecting the animal to paint.
After thoughts of squirrels, pigs and possums, the president of theRaleigh Arts Commission says the group finally decided on the red wolf.There are less than 200 of the animals in existence."The red wolf is a very special animal to eastern North Carolina. It's an endangered species and most of the red wolves that are still alive are in eastern North Carolina," says Joseph Covington, who says he was partial to possums.
The first wolves will be up in time for theFirst Friday gallery walk in September.
"It will be more than just art in a museum since it will be spread allover the city. Just finding wolf after wolf will be an adventure," saysHighsmith.
The temporary exhibit will come down on NewYear's Eve 2001 as part of first night festivities.After that they will be sold in auction to the highestbidder.
Reporter: Ericka LewisPhotographer: David Renner
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