First there were dogs. Then came pigs, rats, and even dragons. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster, according to the Chinese lunar zodiac, and it marks the last of St. Clair Superior Development Corporation’s (SCSDC) Year of the Zodiac Projects—a 12-year public art, cultural awareness, and fundraising campaign.
The animals have appeared every year since 2006, adorning various spots around St. Clair Superior arts district, AsiaTown, Cleveland City Hall, and a few other locations. The fiberglass animals are sponsored by local businesses and painted by artists invited by SCSDC.
Year of the Rooster 2017
“We have a group of 90 artists [whom] we invite to participate,” says SCSDC executive director Michael Fleming, adding that artists are then chosen based on their submissions. “They are fabulous artists who do work on these.”
The project promotes investment in the St. Clair Superior neighborhood, celebrates cultural awareness, and supports arts education and the local artist community. Sponsors pay up to $5,000 for an animal, and the upper-level sponsors get to keep their animals.
“Ohio Technical College has them all over their campus, and Siam Café has all 12 of them lined up in front of the café,” says Fleming. “At the $1,500 sponsor level, we auction [the roosters] off.” He estimates there are currently about 25 roosters around town.
In past years, SCSDC has marked the end of each campaign with a gala dinner and auction. This being the final year, an Ebay auction will be held to sell the six decorated roosters, two Cleveland murals, and two unpainted roosters (one standard and one miniature). In past years, animals have sold for between $900 and $1,000, but Fleming says some have sold in the past for more than $3,200.
Year of the Rabbit 2011
Fleming says he’s admired all of the 12 zodiac animals over the years, but a few stand out to him. “I’m a dragon, and that was my favorite [in 2012],” he says. “It captured the zodiac sign very well. And the pig year [in 2007] was designed by [artist Viktor] Schreckengost.”
Now that the lunar zodiac is complete, SCSDC will end the Year of the Zodiac project when the roosters are gone. “We want to do something similar to this in the future, but it may take a different form,” Fleming promises. “We’d love to see it go on year after year, but it’s been 12 years.”
The auction begins at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. Click here to see all 10 items, or search by "stclairsuperior." Auction winners will have to pick up their art from the SCSDC offices at 4205 St. Clair Ave.