Olympian High School junior Lori Lopez is totally having a cow … a life-size one.
The 17-year-old is competing in Lucerne’s seventh annual Art of Dairy contest with the theme “Red, White & Moo: Celebrating American Ingenuity.”
Lori is one of nine finalists chosen for her design out of more than 9,200 entries across the nation.
“I came home from vacation during winter break and saw a letter on the counter,” she said. “As soon as I saw the Lucerne logo I knew what it was. I was jumping up and down.”
Once Lori received her cow sculpture she set out to paint her design based off the comic-strip style of Roy Lichtenstein, who popularized pointillism and broad lines.
Lori said her original design began as a cartoon when her peers suggested she look into Lichtenstein.
“During class critiques I learned so much because I’m seeing everybody else’s viewpoint and it’s helped me improve my own work,” she said. “This process has taught me so much.”
The designs were judged on originality, technical ability and theme relevance.
“I love drawing cartoons and the old Superman-type comics,” Lori said.
Her design includes a villain, victim and superhero.
Lori’s art teacher Lisa Exum said, for a novice artist, Lori is very talented and determined.
“What I like about Lori is she takes criticism very well from her peers and teachers, which is hard to do as a young artist,” Exum said. “She doesn’t mind going back to the drawing board and refining her work.”
The cows, which are hollow inside and made of fiberglass, stand at about four to five feet high and eight feet long.
“It’s a lot of painting and time put in,” Exum said. “It takes about three to four weeks to complete.”
About 120 students entered the contest this year from Olympian High School. This year marks the third in a row that an Olympian High student became a finalist in the contest.
The winner of the grand prize will receive $20,000 for the school, $5,000 for the student and $5,000 for the teacher.
Lori said that any money she wins would go toward college. She plans to attend Cal Poly for its architecture and engineering program.
This year, the winner will be chosen through public voting via Twitter, email, text and Facebook. Lori’s cow will be on display in front of the Vons on Eastlake Parkway and Birch Road.
Voting ends May 15. Winners are expected to be announced May 31. The public can vote for Lori’s cow at http://www.artofdairy.com/Finalists.