Painted by artist Jonathan Mandell, Delaware is represented in Philadelphia’s “Donkeys Around Town” program for the upcoming DNC.
In preparation for the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, artists with the Mural Arts program have been participating in the “Donkeys Around Town” program. Artist and Drexel professor Jonathan Mandell has made and painted a fiber-glass donkey representing Delaware.
Fifty-seven fiberglass donkeys representing the 50 United States, Washington D.C, and six U.S territories are on display across Philadelphia. Each donkey represents unique qualities and historically significant aspects for each state and territory.
In Mandell’s mosaic works, he likes to infuse a narrative quality in his art. Mandell designed the Delaware donkey, with the state’s approval, by painting the front legs with the farmer and soldier from the state flag.
“The state bird is the blue hen, and of course the University of Delaware is the Blue Hens. So the Delaware Democratic Committee has the blue hen as part of the logo,” said Mandell, as he discussed the influences that went into the donkey design.
Across the torso of the donkey the blue hen is nestled in a field of peach blossom flowers, which is the state flower of Delaware. While on the face he showcases the Nemours Garden in Wilmington.
Delaware-centric themes appear across both sides of the donkey. On the rear of the donkey, he has a rendering of Bethany Beach that also features a tribute to the late Beau Biden. The tribute is on a banner trailing a beach plane that says, “Remembering Beau.”
Mandell also worked on a donkey representing the state of Connecticut which features references to Mark Twain, several state rivers, and the charter oak tree.
Mandell is most well-known for his mosaic work and tactile paintings that can be found prominently in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center, National Liberty Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Citizens Bank Park, and other cities across the country. His work can be seen in Wilmington at the Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
The donkeys can be found throughout the city of Philadelphia, with the Delaware donkey being located at the Pennsylvania Convention Center