Artists needed for 'Bears By The Lake ... A CeleBEARtion!"

The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority is seeking applications from all talented artists willing to pour their heart and soul into one of Lake Tahoe's largest public art displays and community fundraisers ever, "Bears by the Lake... A CeleBEARtion!" The deadline for artist applicants is March 15.

"Bears by the Lake ... A CeleBEARtion!" is a public art display and community fundraiser designed to help local youth-oriented organizations. The summer-long sightseeing campaign and fall auction is being organized by the LTVA, with the assistance of the 2005 Leadership Lake Tahoe class.

The event's title sponsor is All About Tahoe Realty and Nevada Funding. Additional sponsors include Aramark, Caesars Tahoe/MontBleu, Harrah's/Harveys, Horizon, Lakeside Inn and Casino, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Lakeside Landing, Embassy Suites Resort, Heavenly Village, Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge and Spa, Ski Run BID and Barton Memorial Hospital.

The campaign will feature 40-45 life-size fiberglass bear forms decorated by regional and local artists for public display throughout South Shore Lake Tahoe in "outdoor" galleries. The bears, dressed in brightly colored paints, creative mosaics and other artistic mediums, will stand 66" tall and weigh between 85 and 90 pounds. Some bears will be seated. Bear sighting maps will be distributed by the LTVA and local establishments to encourage self-guided sightseeing tours for bears from May 17 through Labor Day weekend in September.

Following the public display, a live and online auction will take place to sell the bears. Funds raised via the auctions will be distributed to pre-selected local youth charities and wildlife preservation and education organizations. A minimum bid for each bear at auction will be $2,000 with an unlimited maximum bid. The artist will receive $250 when a final design has been selected as well as 20 percent of the auction bid.

The first life-size bear for this campaign was painted this past summer in 2005 by Aaron Hagar, son of musician Sammy Hagar. It is located in Harveys Casino near the Cabo Wabo Cantina and already is attracting much attention. Using an airbrush technique, Hagar painted the bear in a Cabo Wabo uniform and named it "Big D" for former General Manager Don Marrandino.

The LTVA is in the process of selecting regional and local artists from Lake Tahoe, Carson Valley, Reno and Truckee to design creative and whimsical bears appropriate for all ages. Artists are encouraged to submit drawings or photos of their creative designs for a named, theme bear design that they would like to create for a sponsor who will be financially supporting the project. In order to raise as much money as possible for local charities, the LTVA is seeking sponsorship ranges from $2,000 to $25,000. For more information about sponsorship or artistic submissions for "Bears by the Lake ... A CeleBEARtion!", contact the LTVA at (530) 544-5050 or download an application online at under the heading "Bears by the Lake." Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, however artists are strongly encouraged to submit as soon as possible.


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