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Ford sponsoring new Chicago public art project: Cool Globes

Over the course of the last dozen years goofy public art projects have become a staple of major North American cities during the summer months. You know the ones, where a hundred or more fiberglass sculptures of something, each with an individualized paint job, pop up to dot the landscape. You might find multi-colored cows, horses, cartoon cars, or moose scattered everywhere.

This year Chicago is hosting just such a project with a message about the environment. The theme for the event is Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Plant and Ford is sponsoring one of the 122 globes that will be scattered along the windy city's waterfront to promote awareness of global warming. Ford chose Peta Kaplan-Sandzer to paint their globe with a theme of green fleets, highlighting natural and renewable fuels. The globes will be on display from June 1 through September, and are likely to make as much impact on global warming as the painted moose in Toronto did a few years ago.

[Source: Ford]

Artist's rendition of Ford's "Cool Globe: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Plant" on display in Chicago this summer.

CHICAGO, Ill., May 16 – How many creative ways can an environmental story be told? "Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Plant," has come up with 122 unique visions for viewing this summer in Chicago and Ford Motor Company is among the organizations telling an environmental story through the eyes of an artist.

Ford is sponsoring a globe for the "Cool Globes" campaign, a public art project designed to increase awareness of and promote solutions to global warming. The project unites corporations, government, non-profit organizations and the community to learn about global warming through public art, Internet information and special events. More than 100 globes will be displayed from June until September along Chicago's lakefront to showcase global warming ideas and solutions.

Individual artists were assigned a "solution" by the Cool Globe organizers. The artists started with a clean sheet of paper or, in this case, a plain five-foot tall orb on which they developed a visual theme.

Artist Peta Kaplan-Sandzer, selected to paint Ford's globe, says she is on a "global" mission, "I am a committed environmentalist and the Cool Globes project is all about global warming, the environment and coming up with solutions for problems in the environment,"

Peta chose the theme of green fleets. She painted images that focus on natural and renewable fuel sources such as corn, sugar cane, jethropa and switchgrass because they are elements that can be used to make alternative fuels.

Ford is moving toward a more environmentally sustainable future every day. The company's vision is to provide sustainable transportation for our customers that is affordable, socially responsible and delivers features they demand. Ford is advancing its vision with a variety of technologies such as hybrids, flexible fuel vehicles, clean diesels, bio-fuels, hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen combustion engines.

"We feel the science is certain. It's no longer time to debate global warming. The responsible thing for us as an auto manufacturer is to act as stewards of the environment: build vehicles that will help meet improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions" said John Viera, director, Sustainable Business Strategy for Ford Motor Company.

The art project is the brainchild of marketer and environmental activist Wendy Abrams, executive director, Cool Globes. "For Ford to be making more fuel efficient cars and using E85 is great," said Abrams. "We live in a society where we're going to drive cars and fly planes and use electricity, but if we can find better ways to do that with even incremental change, then that should be applauded."

If you're in Chicago this summer look for Ford's globe and all the others displayed along the lakeshore from the Field Museum to Navy Pier beginning June first. 122 globes...122 different suggested solutions for a major global challenge.

Look for Ford's Internet Video News Release about Cool Globes at YouTube.

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