History of the Family House Cow

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"In 2012, North Carolina artists were asked to paint a cow to enter the Cow Parade, a fundraiser for UNC Children’s Hospital.  Fifteen life-size cows were painted and sold, yet some were returned to the Hospital as gifts.  Our Bearden Bovine was offered to us by the Hospital and lived in the grassy pasture by the side door beginning in 2013.  Bearden Bovine was painted by Jim Hunt, a retired art teacher from Garner, using Romare Bearden as his muse.

Romare Bearden was born in Charlotte, NC in a college-educated African American family in 1911.  With his career focused in New York and Pittsburgh, he became known as the most creative and original visual artist of the 20th Century, was a member of the Harlem Renaissance and was awarded the National Medal of Arts.  His style is a combination of cartoons, oils and collages: if you look carefully at our Family House cow you will see some of all of these. Want more of his colorful and creative art? Visit the Romare Bearden Park in the middle of uptown Charlotte.

Our own Bearden Bovine (nicknamed Hope by our volunteers) has been receiving structural repairs for the last year, with his original colors rejuvenated by Dana McMahan (our Family House artist/ decorator not in residence).  He has found a home in the courtyard between our dining room and Pine and is happy to resume his role as companion and backdrop for photos for our guests and friends."

-Janice McAdams


  1. Cornelia  Johnson's avatar
    Cornelia Johnson
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    I am so happy to learn that the name HOPE was chosen for the cow! There must have been many to make that suggestion - I was one of them ☺️ Having recently been diagnosed with cancer myself I am beginning to understand the struggle so many of the visitors to the Family House must be going through and consider myself fortunate to live 15 minutes from UNC, where I receive treatments. I have changed my middle name to HOPE as well for the time being and will continue to volunteer at the Family House again soon!

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