Articles: Press Release
Ocala, Florida Horse Fever
Matthew S. Kussman
March 6, 2002 Ocala, Florida has conducted a public arts project called Horse Fever, where
art-decorated horses are up for pre-bidding on the internet at
proceeds will go back to specific charities
in the horse industry and to support the local arts scene.
Horse Fever in Ocala utilized local groups and sponsors. All the public arts
projects, no matter what location, have roughly the same timelines. A call
for artists goes out, a jury picks the best designs, horses are purchased,
delivered, decorated and then put on display.
But all good things come to an end, and Horse Fever will have at least one
ending on March 22, 2002, when all the horses are auctioned off live at Oak
Plantation in Ocala.
Ocala, Florida has more real equines residing there than anywhere else in
Florida, with 20,000 horses, 1200 farms and a $2.2 billion horse industry.
Now add the show horses of the artistic kind to Ocala, Florida.
"Our show of horses is truly an art show. We didn't do whimsy things, craft
things; we did art," said Laurie Menard, chairwoman of the Horse Fever
Steering Committee. Horse Fever is a combined effort of the Marion Cultural
Alliance and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association.
"And why was it a surprise to people that we had such great artists here?"
Menard asks. "All this talent, the quality of art has pulled people to
respect public art and to have fun with real art." Menard noted another
distinction. Horse Fever artists came from diverse backgrounds, including
airbrush artists who decorate cars for a living, and an architect who is
also an artist. "Our art represents our area," said Paula King, chairwoman
of the board of directors of the Marion Cultural Alliance.