Artist Guidelines

ox2Artists who are considering submitting a design to the HV Arts Council’s Stampede must consider the following Artist Guidelines when creating their design. The oxen to be decorated in The Stampede remain the property of the HV Arts Council until they are completed and delivered to their final owners, and must be decorated, embellished, or otherwise modified in accordance with the submitted, approved design, and these guidelines.

Ox Specification

Dimensions: Each unadorned ox, as delivered by the fabricator, is 8 feet long from tip to tail, 23” wide and 60” high. It is able to fit through a standard doorway. Weighing approximately 75 pounds, it is awkward to pick-up, but moveable and steady on it’s temporary base made of 2×4’s. When placed outside for public display, the oxen will be affixed to concrete bases weighing approximately 300 pounds.

For materials estimating purposes, each ox requires approximately 120 square feet of coverage.

The oxen are manufactured using a mixture of laminating resin and chopped roving fiberglass over an initial brushed-on layer of polyester resin. Several layers of chopped strand matting fiberglass are hand-laid and wetted with the laminating resin to the point of full saturation.

Each ox arrives primed by the manufacturer with INSL-X Stix Waterborne Bonding Primer, a high-quality acrylic-urethane primer-sealer ( Light sanding of the finish is permitted, but YOU MUST NOT totally sand through the primer. There is no need to reapply primer unless you have altered the exterior of your ox. Areas no longer covered by the manufacturer’s original primer must be re-primed with the same INSL-X primer to insure the integrity of the surface.

Recommended Work Environment

A clean, dry, well-ventilated, temperature-controlled environment is recommended for optimal results, particularly in the painting and finishing phases.

Water-based and non-toxic products are recommended for your personal safety and ease of cleanup. Always protect yourself against potentially unknown hazards of chemical products. Avoid ingestion, excessive skin contact and inhalation of spraying mists, sanding dusts and concentrated vapors. It is important to following the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the products you have chosen to use.

If artists do not have a place to work, efforts will be made to locate a suitable workplace. If workspace can be found, it’s probable the space may have limited access and other restrictions. As such, it is best if artists arrange for their own places to work.

Design Considerations and Guidelines

Artists are encouraged to express their creativity in any way they choose, but resistance to the effects of weather and public attention must be taken into consideration. Although a few oxen may eventually be placed in indoor locations, most will be outdoors. In creating a design, please consider the elements of nature, including sun, rain, wind and dirt, as well as, the rigors of transporting and installing your ox.

The Stampede is an interactive event that allows the public to touch and feel the designs. As such, designs should be created with durability and public safety concerns in mind. Although objects may be attached to the oxen, artists should be aware that vandalism can and unfortunately does occur. Any object added to an ox should be attached in such a way that it cannot be easily removed. Materials should be durable, permanent, safe and easily maintained. The sculptures may be wired, painted, plastered, bejeweled, decoupaged, tiled or otherwise adorned, as long as they are weatherproof and safe to the public.

Artists should bear in mind that the audience will be broad-based and of all ages, and designs should be appropriate for public display. Designs that are religious, political or sexual in nature will not be accepted. Additionally, neither corporate logos nor advertising is allowed. Designs will be evaluated to ensure they conform to these guidelines. HV Arts Council may reject any design that, at its sole discretion, does not adhere to these guidelines.

Altering the Body of the Ox

Artists determined by the HV Arts Council to have the appropriate skills and implementation plan will be given permission to alter the body of the their ox. These alterations might include drilling into, adding to, or removing a portion of the ox. If you anticipate submitting such a design, please contact a member of the Art Committee to review your plans prior to the submission deadline.

All altered oxen must be designed to remain structurally intact, steady and weatherproof as instructed. Any foam material used must be weather proof and damage resistant. Epoxy putty modeling compound (ex. Magic-Sculpt, Magic Smooth) may be used for additions or extensions. Proper surface preparation is required for secure adhesion. Bonding agents may be necessary. Remember, once an ox is altered, any defects or materials failures are the responsibility of the artist to repair and maintain.

If you are considering altering your ox, advice is available and questions are encouraged!


Paints and Adhesives

Almost any type of coating including artificial resin paint, two-component paint, alkyd acrylic latex, urethane, epoxy, and lacquer finishes are acceptable. It is important to read paint labels and avoid paints that do not have a high colorfast rating.

Virtually any method of application is acceptable, such as spray painting, roller, brush, hands, etc.

Objects added to your ox should be attached is such a way that they cannot be easily removed due to weather or vandalism. Whatever product you choose, make sure it is weatherproof and suitable for a flexible substrate. Avoid using cement mortar and hobby spray adhesives which may breakdown in heat.

Some materials, like textured paint, may require a bonding agent, rather than water, to ensure adhesion. Mosaics require a weatherproof mastic adhesive with a flexible grout. Attaching objects requires a weatherproof adhesive caulk. Fabric should be manufactured to withstand the elements (ex. Sunbrella fabric).


The surface of each ox is primed by the manufacturer. Unless you have altered the pose or exterior of your ox, you will not need to reapply a primer. If you chose to alter the exterior of the ox so that any part of it is no longer covered by the manufacturer’s primer you must prime those areas again to insure integrity of surface.

Two weatherproofing methods will be employed for the decorated ox. Artists should tell us the nature of their specific finish and we will select the appropriate weatherproofing method.

  1.  HV Arts Council will arrange for the application of a spray-on automotive protective coating which will be professionally applied to provide moisture and surface protection, as well as thermal and UV stability.
  2. Artist will be supplied with brush-on Golden’s MSA (Mineral Spirit Acrylic) Varnish with UVLS (UltraViolet Light Stabilizers) in satin gloss finish, along with very specific application instructions.

These products were selected for their removability with turpentine after drying in the event repairs are necessary. Any oxen returned unvarnished or which were incorrectly varnished will not be exhibited.

 Testing Your Materials

Selecting materials that work for your design is critical. There is a lot of “chemistry” involved when mixing types and brands of products together. It is important that you gather as much information as possible and test your materials before embarking on your design. Contact the product manufacturer if you have questions to ensure the compatibility of products.

You might try working with your materials on the inside of one of the ox leg, or another inconspicuous place, as a place to practice.

Installation and Repair of Oxen

Artists will not be responsible for the installation or removal of their ox, as HV Arts Council will manage this process. Once completed, artists will notify us that their ox is ready for approval and pickup.

Artists should, however, be available for any possible touch-up and repair work that may be required once the exhibit is underway. In the weeks prior to the various auctions, Artists are expected to be available for cleaning and repairs as required.


By submitting your application, you confirm that:

  • You are the original creator of your design.
  • You have not copied anyone else’s original work.
  • Your design does not infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property rights (for example, trademark, copyrights, trade dress, or design patent).
  • To the extent anyone else has contributed to your design, you shall obtain a signed, written agreement from that person assigning all of their rights in their contribution to you.

As part of the application process, you must sign the HV Stampede Copyright Assignment. By signing, dating and returning the original Copyright Assignment with your Design Submission Packet, you are indicating your understanding that you are assigning the entire right, title and interest to your design to Hopewell Valley Arts Council, the organizers of the art exhibition. Please remember to keep a copy of these forms for your records.

If your finished ox is approved for exhibition, you will receive a $750 honorarium (paid in two distributions as explained here). The HV Arts Council will continue to own the entire right, title and interest in your design proposal, accompanying sketches and all derivative works, including the final work completed on the fiberglass ox. You will be acknowledged as the artist on a plaque attached to the concrete base of the ox and in appropriate publications. However, the copyrights, including the rights to reproduce your design, create copies or reprint your design in books, will be owned by HV Arts Council.

If your design is not approved or selected for exhibition, HV Arts Council shall assign the entire right, title and interest in your design back to you and no honorarium will be paid.