'Penguins at the Museum' print helping out team's foundation
Artist Tom Mosser's museum series features portraits of people or animals in front of pieces of art.
One of his latest works is called “Penguins at the Museum,” and features five penguins (the actual birds) looking up at the Stanley Cup. The piece was circulated on social media and created an interest from the Penguins Foundation, which promotes physical well-being, encourages teamwork and stresses the value of education to young people through youth hockey and other activities.
Mosser and the foundation have teamed to have Mosser create prints to be sold, with more than half of the proceeds going back to the foundation.
“I can't really just write out a check for thousands of dollars to this charity, but if my art can help raise money for the Penguins Foundation that is a wonderful feeling, because it helps children,” says Mosser, who lives in Pittsburgh's East End and has a studio on Etna. “I also think this museum series encourages people to go to a museum.”
He was inspired to begin the series with a painting of his 7-year-old golden retriever, Lucas, looking up at the painting of a tennis ball.
Mosser began the Penguins-themed piece during last season's Stanley Cup playoff run. He had chosen five penguins in the painting because he liked that it looked symmetrical, not realizing if the Penguins won it would be their fifth title.
“After Chris Kunitz's double overtime goal against Ottawa, and the Penguins were headed to the final, I went to work to finish the piece,” Mosser says. “I sent images to people in a focus group and I got a big reaction, and then it went to social media and the Penguins Foundation found out about it.”
One print has been signed by the players and another by owner and hockey legend Mario Lemieux, which will go up for sale or auction through the foundation.
Each print is 30-inches by 22-inches. The original is 3-foot by 4-foot and was done with oil and acrylic on canvas. It can be seen Feb. 20 at Night of Assists: Under the Big Top, a fundraising event (tickets are $500) at Pittsburgh's PPG Paints Arena, which will be transformed into a vintage-style carnival for the Grand Circus.
“When they win another cup there is room for another penguin,” says Mosser, whose football-themed artwork is being featured Feb. 4 at Super Bowl LLII in Minneapolis. “If someone buys this one and they win another one, I will send them a small version of the six-penguin piece.”