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Local

Bulldogs Unleashed to return to Batavia for 2018 encore

A "Bulldogs Unleashed" exhibition of bulldog sculptures will return to Batavia in 2018, with a kickoff organizational celebration event planned Aug. 11 at Water Street Studios.
A "Bulldogs Unleashed" exhibition of bulldog sculptures will return to Batavia in 2018, with a kickoff organizational celebration event planned Aug. 11 at Water Street Studios.

BATAVIA – It's good to be back in the dog house for organizations supported by "Bulldogs Unleashed II," a reprise of a public art effort to raise community spirit, as well as funds and awareness, for the founding organizations. A call for artists Aug. 11 will be part of a festive kickoff event during the next art show opening at Water Street Studios.

Teaming up will be the Batavia Library Foundation, the Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence and the Batavia Parks Foundation, bringing the beloved painted bulldog statues back to the streets of Batavia next summer, according to a news release.

And joining in are new community partners – Batavia MainStreet, Water Street Studios, the city of Batavia and the Batavia Chamber of Commerce – to help with celebrations and promotions all year long.

Project volunteers will be at the kickoff reception from 6 to 9 p.m., featuring selected bulldog statues from 2011, a new litter of bulldog puppy statues and details at the Dock space within the gallery's building, 160 S. Water St.

Guests are invited to take selfies with bulldogs. Everyone who attends the event and follows "Bulldogs Unleashed" on a social media channel will earn a free chance to win the pick of the puppy litter. There will be refreshments and a slide show from the earlier project.

“The original effort in 2011 was such a great success for the community, bringing thousands of people to town to see the bulldogs on display, with $75,000 raised for three key Batavia foundations," event chairman Steven McKenna stated in the release. "Our groups felt the seven-year itch, so decided it’s time to do it again.”

McKenna will make comments on behalf of the project at 7 p.m.

The bulldogs will be unleashed next year between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with a community celebration and auction event planned in September 2018. Sponsors are sought.

Artists can pick up applications at the Aug. 11 kickoff event or contact George Scheetz at 630-879-1393, ext. 350, or gsheetz@bataviapubliclibrary.org​ for information about submitting design proposals. Application details also are available at bulldogsunleashed.org​. Design proposal review will begin this September.

Any business or individual that purchased a bulldog in 2011, and wants to make it available for the kickoff event, should contact Steven McKenna at s9mckenna@gmail.com.

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