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New Bucky on Parade celebrates 175 years, honors UW–Madison’s past, present, and future

July 24, 2023 By Kari Dickinson

Hitchcock and Herrmann stand with the finished statue. You can see their Bucky debut at UW–Madison’s 175th Anniversary Launch Celebration on Wednesday, July 26. Photo by Sarah Maughan and Sirtaj Grewal

A new Bucky on Parade statue, “Honor the Air, Land, and Water,” will debut this week to kick off UW–Madison’s 175th Anniversary celebration.

Look for it at the celebration on Wednesday, July 26, at Memorial Union, where you can have your photo taken with it at an open-air photo booth.

The new statue is part of the five-year anniversary celebration of the Bucky on Parade public art project. Many of the 85 statues created five years ago are on display again, and  Destination Madison introduced a digital, mobile-friendly pass and online map that Bucky fans can use through Sept. 15.

The new statue, featuring iconography that represents the university’s past, present, and future, was painted by Art Professor John Hitchcock, with assistance from UW–Madison student Kaylee Herrmann, an undergraduate with the Art Department.

Hitchcock says he considered “the importance of place, being grounded in oneself, and our quest to discover more about who we are as a people” in developing this new work.

Watch the transformation of a blank Bucky statue into an artistic masterpiece:

A person draws stars on a statue.

Stars also adorn the statue. “The star is a reference to the many people who have passed through this area we call Teejope,” says Hitchcock. The four points signal the cardinal directions — north, south, east, and west — and serve as a metaphor for how people have moved in and through and beyond this place. Photos by Sarah Maughan and Sirtaj Grewal

A man stands face-to-face with the Bucky Badger statue as he paints details on it.

“As an artist, I am continually asking questions about our society and the importance of how we contribute to progress and our future together,” says Hitchcock. “As a professor, I have worked to honor and assist students through teaching art and serving as an administrator in leadership roles for the past 22 years.” Photos by Sarah Maughan and Sirtaj Grewal

The base of the Bucky statue is shown, with his feet planted on a round pedestal painted with colorful dots.

On the bottom of the statue is an abstract representation of a flower garden, featuring bright shades of blue, purple, and green. White is also included, representing Wisconsin’s state flower — the wood violet. Photos by Sarah Maughan and Sirtaj Grewal

A statue painted chiefly in red, with stars and dots and other designs on it.

The newest Bucky on Parade statue.