Multicolored bear statues spring up in Alaska's largest city

( Agencies ) Updated: 2016-08-30 09:37:03

Multicolored bear statues spring up in Alaska's largest city

A life-size bear statue painted with natural scenes is part of a Bears on Parade display. [Photo/Agencies]

"Not all bears eat salmon," Carlson says. "Some eat berries, depending on where they are. We really wanted it to spark conversation about the bears."

The committee also wanted to coordinate the statues' installation with a summer conference of 700 international bear scientists brought to Anchorage by the International Association for Bear Research & Management.

Carlson reached out to America's Fiberglass Animals of Seward, Nebraska, which has helped create more than 300 public art projects with fiberglass sculptures.

Fifteen bears arrived by flatbed truck looking like polar bears-completely white. Sponsors paid either $1,750 or $3,000 for bears. So far 13 have been painted, sealed and erected.

Artists received loose instructions. The adornment had to be family friendly and reflect the beauty of Alaska, Carlson says.

One bear has a birch forest painted on its side. Others are painted with rivers, wildflowers or northern lights. A bear sponsored by an ice-cream shop added a tongue that appears to be licking ice cream off the bear's face.

The committee is donating nearly $8,000 from statue sponsorships to the next bear conference for scientists' expenses.

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