Cows return to Burlington

Nothing peculiar sits inside Jackie Mangione’s studio — except for a cow.The lofty white space contains painting supplies, industrial lighting and a life-size fiberglass cow erected in the middle.After submitting a 12-inch proposal for the Cows Come Home to Burlington project, a community art project to be displayed on Church Street in Burlington from May through September, local painter Mangione was chosen to participate.At the close of the exhibition, the cows, the muses of 35 local artists, will be auctioned off with proceeds benefiting the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger.Painted cows as public, interactive art have been parading the street of cities around the globe.”I just love the idea that it was a public opportunity, an interactive fun event, that is linked to the fundraiser.  This happens all over the world,” Mangione said.     Raised in New York, Mangione became a resident of Burlington after receiving an education at the Pratt Institute. She said that she is particularly fond of the natural environment Vermont offers, which serves as inspiration for her work with watercolors, acrylic and silk.”I just feel fortunate — this beautiful place, who would want to leave this beautiful place?” she said. “There is a nice consciousness, an environmental consciousness about our state.”At an early age, Mangione would rummage through her older sister’s makeup. In her room she would turn lipstick, mascara and bright nail polishes into paint, her preferred medium. It was then that she began to receive attention for her artistic impulse.Her ability to capture the forms, textures and rich colors of nature go beyond canvas. Mangione created hand painted silk scarves after teaching classes at a summer camp, Camp Common Ground.”I think the way that paints moves on fabric is an attraction for me. The water flows, a natural kind of take to it,” Mangione said.This natural flow makes its way onto the cow, affectionately named Moonique.A veteran to donating and creating art for charitable causes, Mangione recently painted a chair to benefit programs sponsored by Recycle North.Even in what she described as a small action, it allowed her to give back to the Burlington community.The painted scene upon the cow is Mangione’s interpretation of the French Rococo style painter, Jean-Honore Fragonard’s painting of the town of Louveciennes, France. The scenes are dripping in romance, and come to life with Mangione’s preferred colors, creating a light that illuminates the cow.Magione looks forward to the cow debuting on Church Street and its place both as an artistic piece and a plaything for a curious child.