Steve Sakievich of York City walks by the Amazing Moth Cow during a visit to Martin Library last week. The cow, painted by Wrightsville artist Rob Evans
Steve Sakievich of York City walks by the Amazing Moth Cow during a visit to Martin Library last week. The cow, painted by Wrightsville artist Rob Evans for the 2004 Whitaker Center Cow Parade in Harrisburg, was donated by a law firm. (Bill Kalina photo)

When Rob Evans agreed to paint a 100-pound fiberglass cow, he did not realize what the artistic endeavor would entail.

The Wrightsville artist painted the cow as part of a commissioned project for the Whitaker Center Cow Parade in Harrisburg in 2004.

Since then the cow has been on display in the office of a Harrisburg law firm.

The firm, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, is relocating its office and decided to donate the cow to the York County Library System.

Now the cow is on display at Martin Library, where library staff say it is garnering all sorts of attention.

"I'll see parents and kids looking at the cow, and we have some cow books on display beside it, which they take home to learn more about cows," said Deb Sullivan, community relations director for York County Libraries. "It's a nice connection between literature and art."

Evans painted the cow in a luminescent purple with several moths scattered throughout a full-body maze that can be followed from start to finish.

"Maybe someone will actually solve the maze," Evans said. "I took photographs of the cow from all angles and have the answer to prove it. The maze takes you the whole way around the cow."

How it started: The cow parade it was originally designed for is an international event held in a different major city each year, and Harrisburg was one of the first smaller cities to host the event in 2004, Evans said.

A committee selected local artists to paint the cows before they are displayed throughout the city, where people could take a walking tour to see all of the masterpieces.

Evans' cow was displayed on the steps of the State Capitol.

"It was interesting and fun, but more than I expected," he said. "It took about seven months to do from beginning to end, but then I was not working on it continuously."

Evans' work is included in major collections, both public and private, including the Corcoran Gallery in Washington and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Why moths? He is known for his paintings that include insects, and chose to incorporate the moth imagery and create a maze because he loved solving mazes as a child.

He used mainly acrylic paint, and at the end a clear coat was added to protect the cow from the elements.

"The cow has been a favorite among our collection of central Pennsylvania art, but with the firm's move to its new office location, it was time to share it with the community," said Stephen Gierasch, co-managing shareholder of Buchanan's Harrisburg office and a York County native.

- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or cshank@yorkdispatch.com