Bucky on Parade feature: Angie Contreras

July 11, 2018 By Parker Schorr
A photo of "Goodnight Bucky" depicting a nature scene and campground.

“Goodnight Bucky,” one of 85 Bucky Badger statues designed for the public art project Bucky on Parade, was painted by Angie Contreras.

This summer we will feature a weekly Q&A with an artist who created one of the Bucky on Parade statues on UW’s campus to understand their artistic process, their inspirations, and why they love Bucky.

Bucky: Goodnight Bucky

Location: Picnic Point

What is your history as an artist?  When I was a kid I loved to draw characters and stories. Some of my earliest memories are of me drawing pictures for my family. They always encouraged me and provided me with the tools so I could express myself freely, whether it was watercolors, markers, pastels – the list goes on.  Later on, I studied Visual Arts at the University of Guadalajara, and I began showcasing my work in a more professional setting throughout the city. Guadalajara has a very rich artistic tradition, so this also fed my own vision and identity. As far as my work, I take elements from pop culture, children’s literature and sometimes references from other cultures. I work with all kinds of mediums, such as oil, acrylics, and collage.

The sketched outline for Goodnight Bucky.

The sketched outline for Goodnight Bucky.

What inspired you to come up with this take on Bucky?

I am new to this area so the whole idea of camping and the outdoors is new to me. I am basically a city person, and I find myself now surrounded by woods and lakes. I am in awe of the state’s natural resources and how people really enjoy being close to nature. I think camping is pretty much in Wisconsin’s DNA. The theme of forests and fairy tales is something that I am currently working on, so this is just the tip of the iceberg.  I hope to have a series completed by next year.

What idea or message do you hope people get out of this piece of art?

Basically, the idea of continuing this tradition of communing with nature, especially the younger generations.

Contreras hugs her blank, 6-foot tall Bucky Badger statue before its transformation into Goodnight Bucky.

Contreras hugs her blank, 6-foot tall Bucky Badger statue before its transformation into Goodnight Bucky.

What was the process of creating your Bucky like?

The whole process took about a month. I didn’t expect it to be so big – at least in my mind – so getting it in the studio was a minor ordeal on its own. Luckily, Bucky was able to fit without a scratch. This was also my first time working with a 3D statue of this size. I had previously painted a smaller ceramic sculpture for a project in Guadalajara called Puerquito Fest (Pig Fest) in which I painted a pig wrapped in bacon, but this time the scale was much larger.  I like detailing my work, so this was truly a challenge but quite enjoyable none the less. I would have painted another Bucky if time permitted!

Of the other Bucky Badgers created, which ones do you like best?

I would have to say “Visible Bucky” because it was just a different take on Bucky and the amount of detail that went into making it.

The back of Goodnight Bucky depicting a Volkswagen van in a clearing in a forest.

The back of Goodnight Bucky depicting a Volkswagen van in a clearing in a forest.