Nipper the RCA Mascot now greets Albany, New York visitors in a special city-wide exhibit of statues depicting this famous dog on display through May 2018.
Since 1958, the 28-foot-tall fiberglass figure of Nipper the RCA mascot has watched a steady stream of sightseers go by from his perch atop a building in Albany, New York’s warehouse area. Today tourists can view not only the famous homage to the Vitaphone-loving dog, but also a series of three-foot-tall replicas of the renowned Rover which will help homeless pets who long for the day when they can hear “His Master’s Voice.”
On display through May 2018, a total of 20 Nippers decorated by area artists can be seen on the streets of Albany, New York thanks to the Downtown is Pawsome public art project. The exhibition was launched with a garden party which raised funds for the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society’s efforts to find forever homes for dogs and cats in need.
Following are just a few of the notable Nippers that can be spotted across the city. For a map of all 20 Nipper the Dog sculptures, visit www.downtownalbany.org/downtownispawsome.
A model of modernity, the mirrored exterior of 80 State Street–a 12-story building which houses shops, restaurants and businesses– presently reflects the image of a retro-futuristic Fido named “Steampunk” in a tip of the hat to the neo-Victorian genre.
Celebrating the city’s Dutch roots, artist Jessica Mansmith turned to the colors of the Netherlaands’ classic blue and white Delftware pottery for inspiration when painting “Een grote delft blauwe doggo (A Big Delft Blue Doggie),” which sits outside for the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center.
The Delft-themed dog statue stands near The Olde English Pub & Pantry, where pups are welcome on the patio!
Canines getting ready to play in the new 15,000-square-foot fenced-in dog park within Wallenberg Park opening in July 2017 will spot “Second Chances,” the Spot that sits at the park’s entrance.
Enjoying his new found “Fame,” Nipper’s nod to David Bowie looks positively fetching by the entrance to Albany’s Palace Theatre. Acting today as a concert venue with has welcomed on stage such diverse artists as Tony Bennett and The Rolling Stones, the former RKO movie house is an entertainment icon in its own right, and an appropriate setting for a Rover-field rendition of the Starman.
While the bronze figure of Finn McCool– a golden retriever who was the four-legged friend of former Albany Mayor Thomas Whalen III– has a permanent place in Tricentennial Park, for the next year fans of Fidos will also get to enjoy the canine creation “Mark,” a pup festooned in a plethora of playful colors by artists Sarah Bassett and Hannah McGrath.
A much photographed Albany landmark, for the next year many tourists’ snapshots of the SUNY System Administration Building will no doubt include “City Lines,” artist Mitchell Biernacki’s colorful Nipper.
Sightseers with a craving to see all of the canine creations can find number 18 on the map at 42 State Street. Artist Kristen Dahms'”Explore” is currently savoring a taste of the good life outside of Jack’s Oyster House, a culinary institution in Albany since 1913.
“Scooby Doodle”, Where Are You? UpsideCollective’s Nipper can be found at the entrance to the Jennings Landing footbridge:
Sitting across the street from the Renaissance Albany hotel, Melanie Lucia Clarke’s Nipper named “Bright Side” gazes at guests from outside the Albany Capital Center, a venue for events ranging from roller derbies and martial arts competitions to holiday happenings like the BOO-Jolais Vampire Ball and Crafts & Christmas.
Tourists writing home about the surreal series of Spots that presently dot the city of Albany will see “Frida Fido,” Burnt Barn Studio’s homage to surrealist painter Frida Kahlo, when they stop by the post office on Hudson Avenue: