Meet The Pelicans
View a short movie featuring over 72 artistically decorated pelicans.
Fairhope, Alabama was founded by Midwestern idealists in 1894 as an experimental utopian community, through a Single Tax Colony based on the philosophy of Henry George. The founders chose a scenic spot on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay for its natural beauty, fertile land and temperate climate. From its early years, Fairhope has been home to artists, writers and idealists. Today, boutiques, art galleries and antique shops line the downtown streets. Colorful flowers bloom on every street corner. There are monthly art walks, weekly book signings, and readings by local and regional authors.
In the Spring of 2005, the Committee On Public Art (COPA) started planning a temporary public art project that would get the community involved and raise money for public art. With permission from the artist’s family, COPA used the original model by Fairhope’s Craig Sheldon for his Celebration of Life sculpture, Fairhope’s first public sculpture, which celebrated the return of the Brown Pelican to Mobile Bay.
Art Takes Flight – Party with the Pelicans! was greeted with enthusiasm by the Fairhope community. Not only did businesses and professionals sponsor the pelicans, but individuals and groups of friends and neighbors did so as well. From March 2007 until August, 70 pelicans arrived on the streets of Fairhope. Decorated and festooned by local artists, the fiberglass pelicans flew over the streets of Fairhope, perching on posts and dangling from balconies.
In September, COPA staged its “Buy, Buy Birdie” auction, which Thomas Harrison, arts editor of The Press Register newspaper in Mobile, called “wildly successful” and the fundraiser “by which all others will be compared.” A sellout crowd of 700 at the Fairhope Civic Center brought $150,000, which will go toward public art projects in Fairhope.
This amazing project would not have been possible without the generosity and support of Fairhope's private and professional community. Click here to view a list of Art Takes Flight sponsors.