Art professor Clint Samples, development teams and creative designs from local artists, the wolf replicas for the HOWL for UWG project were officially revealed October 6, 2012 at the UWG Homecoming football game. The life-sized wolves will be placed on campus in high trafficked areas and around Carrollton.
The HOWL for UWG project aims its efforts at tying UWG with the Carrollton community. The project has currently raised $55,000. Thanks to the project sponsors, proceeds will go to scholarship aids for the UWG Annual Fund and a portion of the funds will be dedicated to scholarships for art majors.
Samples said, “The idea for it came about three years ago in 2009 when my wife and I were in San Diego, California and we drove to La Jolla and saw Cows on Parade, which is a large public art project.” After talking about the cow replicas, Samples wife thought it might be a good idea to bring to UWG. Upon returning from California, Samples did some research and discovered that they could make replicas of the UWG wolf.
Samples was an undergraduate at UWG during the 90’s and personally benefitted from scholarships, so he thought why not aim the project towards a type of scholarship fundraiser for the Annual Fund at the university. “Bridging the university with the community was one of my main goals for the HOWL for UWG project, and so far I think we’re doing a good job,” said Samples.
“The City of Carrollton and the Carrollton Main Street Program are very excited to be working with the University of West Georgia on the Howl for UWG project,” said Jessica Reynolds, Main Street director.
According to Samples, the project truly was a “grassroots” effort that started out with a simple idea of artists leading the project. “You see civic groups doing a lot of these replica projects but you never see the artists actually be the ones in charge, I wanted us as artists to lead the project…I didn’t want cute painted wolves, I wanted cool,” said Samples. Kevin Shunn, chairman of the art department, designed and sculpted the wolf model that was used to make the fiberglass statues.
One challenge Samples and all others involved in the project faced, was how to make the project different from what other communities were doing and had done with similar replica projects. “So being in academics we tried to make the project geared towards academics, even talking on our website how the wolf has been used throughout literature,” said Samples.
Samples along with Shunn and other key players in the project wanted to showcase and celebrate the talent in Carrollton and the local community. They had a call for submissions and received thirty-two submissions from local talent. One of the main criteria the panel of judges looked for was whether or not the designs celebrated the community. “We got a lot of really good designs and posted them on our website and presented them to the sponsors,” said Samples.
Although the original plan was to have twenty sponsors and twenty wolf replicas, HOWL for UWG was only able to gain nine sponsors due to the difficult economic times. However, Samples does not look at the nine wolves as a defeat. The project has plans to launch a “Phase 2” at the end of spring semester or summer semester 2013, in hopes of gaining more sponsors and raising more money for the scholarship fund.