'Bucky took a dive for cancer': Sunburst Bucky artist reacts to statue found in water

It took a month to create badger statue

MADISON, Wis. - The artist who created "Sunburst" Bucky said she will work to repaint the Bucky Badger statue after it was found Wednesday morning in Lake Mendota.

Artist Jenny Heyden is trying to put a positive spin on the incident, saying she hopes Bucky "going fishing" can raise awareness for the public art project's main goal.

Some of the proceeds from the event will support University of Wisconsin-Madison men's basketball Coach Greg Gard's charity, Garding Against Cancer.  

Heyden, an artist based in the Village of Shorewood, said a friend told her, "Your Bucky took a dive for cancer."



It took Heyden a month to paint Bucky No. 60, which was placed in James Madison Park in Madison as part of the Bucky on Parade public art project.

"I hope it can go back there safely," Heyden told News 3. "I would love to get this Bucky back on his feet before graduation weekend."

It will likely take Heyden about eight hours to repaint the statue, which had some damage done to the head.

The statue has a blue base and is covered in the vibrant colors seen on the chairs at the Memorial Union Terrace.

"The chairs on Memorial union really mean Madison to me," Heyden said. She had swatches made of the colors directly from the chairs so the colors on the statue would be accurate.



As an artist, Heyden was hoping to capture the feeling people get when they sit in the chairs and overlook the water on the UW-Madison campus.

"I wanted to combine the strength of that and also the softness," Heyden added.

This isn't her first time taking part in a public art project either. Heyden painted one of the cows as part of the Cows on Parade project in Chicago in the 1990s.

"It brings art to the people," she said of public art. "Everyone can go see it and you don't have to go to a museum."

She submitted multiple designs for the Bucky on Parade project, including one based on the board game Operation, in which the game pieces would showcase Madison icons. Ironically, Heyden said, with that design she was worried about people vandalizing the pieces that would have been attached to the badger statue.

Heyden will make the trip from Shorewood to Madison on Thursday to start to repair the Bucky statue.

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