Bulldogs Roam the Irvington Streets

A pack of bulldogs from the 2023 Bulldog Gallery collection. Photo: Bulldog Gallery Committee

During the spring and summer months, pedestrians on Irvington’s Main Street will see more than the many stores, restaurants and amazing views of the Hudson River that the town has to offer. Lining the sidewalks will be twenty-seven statues of bulldogs, all painted by local artists. The dogs are part of the second annual “Bulldog Gallery”, a community art initiative that began last year as a town beautification project. The Gallery was inspired by local artist Kristina Schmidt‘s visit to the Catskills. Every summer, the famous New York region has local business-sponsored cat statues to sit outside stores, which are then auctioned off at the end of the year.

After her visit, Schmidt contacted the Irvington Board of Trustees with her idea, which was met with resounding support. Schmidt created statues of the Irvington School District’s bulldog mascot. Each statue is sponsored by a local business, individual or neighborhood, and decorated by Irvington students and local artists. Bulldog statues varied in design, including one celebrating LGBTQ+ pride, a plumber dog and one decorated with local landmarks. Each dog was sold at auction at the end of the season, raising close to $17,000 for town beautification projects.

Schmidt credits co-chair Melissa Jones and Board of Trustees member Arlene Burgos for helping bring the gallery to life. The gallery committee has also expanded after last season’s success and is now an official part of the Irvington government. The Irvington Art and Cultural Committee is tasked with helping to grow the town’s art scene. In addition to fundraising, the gallery has other goals. Schmidt observes that anyone who spends time in Irvington knows how much the small town empties out during the summer. The gallery, Schmidt hopes, will make Irvington a summertime destination, as well as be a unifying activity in which locals can participate. This year, the Bulldog Gallery will be promoted with the Irvington Day Street Fair on June 2nd from noon to 4pm, where local businesses set up tables along the town’s Main Street, and will distribute food, crafts and more. Schmidt hopes the Bulldog Gallery will take down the barrier between business owners and customers. Gallery goers will also have a chance to participate in a scavenger hunt, built for all ages.

A bulldog keeps watch over Main Street. Photo: Bulldog Gallery Committee

Bulldogs to look out for this year include one painted by the Main Street School Art Club called ‘My Civic Dream’, and one celebrating Irvington High School’s Girls Basketball Coach Gina Maher’s 800th career win against Eastchester in February.

To see more Bulldogs, visit bulldoggallery.org/2023-gallery. 


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About the Author: Charlotte Fuchs