By Jay Goulde, Executive Director, Outdoor Arts Foundation
I guess it was around March of 2003 that I started thinking about a follow up to the Tampa Bay Tour of Turtles. The Outdoor Arts Foundation was making great strides but we needed a high-profile project that would generate funds and exposure. I wanted to organize another large-scale, temporary community art project but I couldn't quite come up with a theme. Then, one night, it hit me, like a bolt of lightening! I was having a late-night phone conversation with Jan Stein (as we often do), and she told me about some architecturally designed dog houses that she had seen in the Hamptons. Thus the journey began…
I wanted to take all the positive elements from the turtle project, eliminate the negatives and initiate what would be the largest display of architecturally and artistically designed dog houses ever conceived. I had already been looking for ways to partner with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay so when I brought this idea to them, it was a natural fit
Everything was coming together beautifully, but one question remained… We had originally discussed that if we were going to do this we should set our sights at bringing 40 of the most renowned architects and artists on board. The question was would the local architecture and art community embrace the concept? Could we get 40 people to design and build funky yet functional dog houses?
That question was answered rather quickly. It seemed like once we picked up the phone, everyone wanted to participate! I think for the participants, the attraction of this project was its uniqueness, originality, friendly competitive nature and the fact that after all was said and done, it would benefit two worthy non-profit organizations.
That being said, here are all the details about BowWow Haus that you've been waiting for…
From January through the end of April, dog houses will be on display at Tampa International Airport, Westshore Plaza, Ruth Eckerd Hall and one dog house will be touring participating Publix supermarkets.
All of the dog houses will be auctioned off at a gala event to be held on Saturday, May 8th at the Wyndham Harbor Island. Click here for more information.
On the following pages, you will find a photograph of each dog house along with a listing of its' principal builder. Many of the dog houses were built by teams of multiple individuals so for more information about each house, please visit the BowWow Haus website at www.outdoorartsfoundation.com. Each dog house will also feature a plaque that will display its' name and all team members involved in its construction.
On behalf of the Outdoor Arts Foundation and Humane Society of Tampa Bay, I hope that you enjoy BowWow Haus as much as we have enjoyed bringing it to you!!!