Harry and Hanley
Sculptor Harry Weber and the APA join forces on a project honoring the organizations 90th anniversary.
When visitors arrive at the Saint Louis Art Fair, Sept. 6-8, they’ll be greeted by 20 larger-than-life cat and dog statues, part of the Animal Protective Association of Missouri’s 90th anniversary celebration. The custom-designed sculptures represent the APA’s Harry and Hanley Project, a summer-long celebration that culminates on Sept. 14 with the APA’s 90th-anniversary birthday bash at the Contemporary Art Museum, where several of the sculptures will be auctioned to benefit the pets and programs of the APA.
The 20 six-foot Harry and Hanley statues were created by renowned sculptor Harry Weber—best known for his “Plaza of Champions” sculptures at Busch Stadium and the likeness of Chuck Berry in The Loop. The sculptures were then passed to local artists and designers, including Laura Kathleen, Amy Johnson, Jeff Kapfer, Sharon Spillar and others, who painted, collaged, dressed and reimagined them to create 20 unique works of art.
Each sculpture follows a theme. “Stan Meowsial” by artist Craig Downs, for example, sports a #6 Cardinals jersey in tribute to a certain St. Louis sports hero, and Amy Johnson’s “Kanine KayOss” is a superhero dog wearing a bright-red cape. But not all of the themes are expressed in visual puns. “Whimsy” by Sarah Smith reveals her fondness for Impressionism, right down to the aquamarine blue sky familiar from Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”
The project creates awareness for the APA and helps raise essential funds, but it’s also meant to change the perception of shelter pets, which people often judge as problematic. “Most of them come here through no fault of their own,” says APA Executive Director Steve Kaufman. “The statues are like shelter pets. They’re original, they’re fun, they have personalities.” Kaufman credits the APA’s committed staff and volunteers for getting the Harry and Hanley Project—by far the largest project the APA has undertaken—off the ground. In its first 90 years, the organization has helped more than 500,000 animals and currently operates an animal shelter and veterinary clinic, offering adoption services, lost-and-found assistance, and education and outreach programs. “I expected the show to be terrific, but I didn’t expect it to be this terrific,” Weber says. “I’m really pleased with the work of the other artists, and I’m amazed at the placement of the art—it’s everywhere.”
Visit harryandhanley.com for more info or to make a donation.
Serena Boschert, Blue
Serena Boschert, Blue
Photo credit: Harry and Hanley photo by Diane Anderson.