Doane University sponsored and bought a cardinal created by two current art professors as part of the Birds of a Feather project put on by Crete’s Blue River Arts Council.
Blue River Arts Council is a group of citizens from the community who came together with the goal of remodeling and reopening the Isis Theater which closed its doors last year. This new theater will be volunteer-run and bring arts and entertainment to Crete.
To fund the project, BRAC has been working on fundraisers starting in Nov. 2018 with an 80s style prom gala which raised approximately $20,000. Following that, the City of Crete agreed to buy the theater with the intent that BRAC
would purchase the building back from the city once they gathered the grant/donation money to renovate and reopen the theater.
Their second fundraiser was called Birds of a Feather. During this fundraiser, twenty local artists decorated fiberglass cardinals that were then sprayed in a clear coat by Christ Auto Body so they could be placed indoors or outdoors.
Some of the cardinals were bought on the spot, while others will be auctioned off on Sept. 21, at an event called Wing Ding.
Doane bought their cardinal which was made by art professors Eric Stearns and Erin Cross.
Stearns heard about the cardinals in an e-mail sent out as well as from first year advisor Rhonda Lake, who is on the Blue River Arts Council.
At first, the idea was to have art students decorate the cardinal but by the time Doanehad agreed to purchase the bird students had left for summer.
Cross and Stearns collaborated to paint the cardinal over the summer which depicts a tiger, shields, the date the college was founded and the five colleges of Doane University.
“Once receiving the blank cardinal, it took on a different shape, size and texture and we had to think about what we wanted to do and say that would represent Doane University,” Stearns said.
The title of the bird is “Transformation” which Stearns said represented the journey you will go on to discover yourself and change throughout your time at college.
“Transformation” was debuted at the Saline County Fair on July 18 along with the other cardinals.