This article reprinted from the John T Unger Weblog. The original article can be found online:
© 2008, John T Unger
Free Spirit, Mosaic Bear 2005
Ceramic tile over fiberglass.
Exact dimensions unknown: Your basic life-size bear
Free Spirit was created for the 2005 fundraiser Great Northern Hunt for Bearable Art organized by The American Red Cross of Northern Lower Michigan. An anonymous donor sponsored one of the bears and specifically requested that I mosaic it. I couldn't get anyone to spill the beans as to this mystery benefactor's identity, but I'd like to thank them here for picking up the tab on my entry to the outdoor art project.
The life-size fiberglass bears are based on a sculpture by Glen McCune commissioned by the Red Cross as a follow-up to their 2003 Fish-In, which featured over 50 outdoor fish sculptures and raised more than $300,000 for local Red Cross services.
If you're curious how long it takes to cover such a large sculpture in tile, you can follow along with the more or less daily blog posts I posted while working on the project: Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five, Day Six, Day Seven, Day Nine + Ten, Day Eleven + Twelve, The Auction!
As shown below, my bear was chosen to greet everyone as they first came in to the auction tent.