Whale Tail Trail

This Page Last Updated: May 22nd, 2012

The idea is a simple one. Local artists, architects, photographers and designers, and celebrities paint, decorate, and dress up resin whale tail statues, and then exhibit them in a “trail” around the city for several months . The art exhibit is a great way to attract tourism dollars and showcase local attractions. After the exhibition is over, the Whale Tails are auctioned off, and the money will be used to make the molds for the 27 foot bronze whale and fountain by R.T. “Skip” Wallen for the Juneau waterfront.

The whale tails will be painted by local artists from the amateur and unknown to the professional and famous. The artists will be notified of the event a targeted mailing to top artists, and newspapers, and through cooperation with local arts organizations.

How long will the Whale’s Tail Trail Last?

The public display part of the Trail will last 2 to 4 months. The public display will be followed by a live auction, which will be Sept. 15, 2012 after the public display ends.

Where will the Tails be Displayed?

The tails will be displayed throughout Juneau. Its bank lobbies, streets, parks, and other public places become a museum for the tails. All of the tails can be seen by the public, free of charge. See jahc.org/whale for more information.

Who are the Artists?

The Whale Tail event will be open to all artists. Painters, sculptures, craftsmen, architects, and other creative and artistic individuals are welcome to submit a design for selection. There will be 12 tails available for decoration. While the sculptures remain the same, each artist is challenged by the creations from past events, inspired by their own cultural influences and moved by their own interpretation of the resin tail as an object of art. Applications to decorate are due June 1st.

Are the Artists Paid for their Work?

Artists will have the opportunity to demonstrate their skill and have fun. Sponsors will be solicited to pay a stipend of $500 to the artist, and to cover the cost of materials. Sponsors will be able to choose the location of that tail’s display for July and August.

What are the Tails made of?
The whale tail sculptures are made of flame-retardant resin. The tails weigh approximately 55 pounds before application by the artist. The tails are approximately 6 ½ feet tall by approximately 4 feet wide at the width of the tail.

In previous animal parades, what is the Highest Selling Sculpture?
The highest selling sculpture in the various auctions around the world has been “Wage Moo” from Cow Parade Dublin 2003, selling for $146,000. She is a beautiful mosaic of thousands of pieces of Waterford Crystal designed by renowned designer John Rocha.