'Top Cow' on Display in Glen Ellyn

Top Cow had a prestigious location during the 1996 Cows on Parade in Chicago. Now she is on display at Glen Ellyn's Career Vision, 526 N. Main St.

Submitted by Career Vision

One cow has recently made its way home to Glen Ellyn. 

Top Cow is on display at Career Vision, 526 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn. She is a vision of gold shining in the sunlight, inviting passersby to stop and smile.  

“We are delighted to welcome our Top Cow back to her outdoor home,” said Peg Hendershot, executive director of Career Vision. “Our cow provides a lot of good will in our village, and we hope everyone will mosey over to see her. Perhaps a visit will spur folks to get their career moooving, too. We’re there to help; it’s what we do.”

Top Cow had a prestigious location during the 1996 Cows on Parade in Chicago. She stood proudly on a median smack dab in the middle of Michigan Avenue near Water Tower Place. 

Following Cows on Parade, Top Cow was auctioned. Anna Ball, CEO of Ball Horticultural and president of the board of directors of the Ball Foundation, made the winning bid and shared Top Cow at its international headquarters in West Chicago. This is the second summer that Top Cow has been lent to Career Vision. 

Telling a girl’s measurements is dicey, but Top Cow weighs 125 pounds and is mounted on a cement base weighing approximately 400 pounds. She’s made of flame-retardant fiberglass and has within her a steel rebar for reinforcement. 

Nearly two decades have passed since the cows graced Chicago’s streets and parks as part of Cows on Parade. Since then, Cow Parades have been staged in more than 75 cities worldwide and an astounding $20 million has been raised through worldwide charitable organizations through the auction of the cows at the conclusion of each event.

“Incredibly, more than 2,500 cows have been created worldwide, but no two are alike,” Hendershot said. “The uniqueness of each cow really speaks to us at Career Vision, because our testing proves the infinite range of individuality when it comes to aptitudes, personality and interests. 

Pascal Knapp, a Swiss-born sculptor, was commissioned to create the unadorned cows for the original Cow Parade. Artist Stan Sczepanski was given a cow as a blank canvas, and when he was done – Top Cow!

But why did Mr. Knapp, the sculptor, choose cows? There is something magical about the cow that transcends throughout the world. Simply, a cow makes everyone smile. As an art canvas, there is no other animal or object that provides the form, flexibility and contiguous breadth of a cow. The three shapes (standing, grazing, reclining) provided artists with subtle, yet interesting angles and curves to create unique works of art. 

“Our Top Cow is spiffed up and ready for visitors to gaze upon her,” Hendershot said. “No touching allowed, however. She’s sensitive!”


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