CowParade North Carolina’s three-month exhibition kicked off Aug. 18 with a roundup in Durham in which more than 80 life-sized fiberglass cows hand-painted by local artists came together. The event was truly a spectacle, with the colorful, whimsical bovines lined up for viewers to enjoy before they were dispersed to areas throughout the Triangle, where they will remain through early December.

Eleven of those cows came to Chapel Hill, and within 24 hours, one of them – Alexander Moo-lian Bow-vine, pictured on the cover of this publication – was vandalized, stripped of his distinctive Carolina blue-and-white bowtie. Shockingly, not a week later, a second cow, Cow House, was also damaged, knocked on its side by four vandals, two whom were caught by campus police. Both of the vandalized cows had been set to “graze” on the UNC campus – Alexander Moo-lian near the Morehead Planetarium and Cow House on McCorkle Place.

The worst part of these acts is not the simple destruction of beautiful pieces of art lovingly crafted by local artists, but rather the attack on pieces intended for a charitable cause. The cows are set to be auctioned off for the benefit of N.C. Children’s Hospital in January – something the vandals hopefully were unaware of when they made their attacks – so let’s hope the remaining bovines are able to continue to graze undisturbed. In the meantime, be sure to check them out for yourself, as they truly are a joy to see. Visit for details. –Susan Dickson

Cover photo by Alicia Stemper