Ludlow, Vermont--Although it sounds like it could be the name of a long-lost episode of Star Trek, this summer’s invasion of the crias, in Ludlow, Vt., will not see Captain Kirk or Mr. Spock battling alien life forms as the crew of the Starship Enterprise boldly goes where no man has gone before. Instead, a benevolent onslaught of artistically decorated life-size baby llamas, officially known as crias, will be on display throughout the area as the “See the Crias community art project celebrates the creative side of a spirited southern Vermont village and raises funds to support the Black River Art Guild and Ludlow Streetscapes, Inc.
Ludlow Streetscapes, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to make Ludlow a more attractive location in which to live, work and play, is partnering with the Black River Art Guild to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life, and new civilizations and to show visitors the creative and fun-loving side of this vital community while raising funds to enhance its business district.
This next generation of Ludlow llamas follows the successful community art project of two years ago. Money raised from the “Llamas of Lludlow 2004 helped establish the Black River Art Guild and is being used to replace village streetlights with more attractive fixtures.
Leslie Stuart, of the Ludlow Wine and Cheese Depot, was involved with the first Llamas of Lludlow launch. “Aside from the pure pleasure of alliteration, “says Leslie, “we lobbied for llamas in Ludlow because, like the uncommon crias, they complement our cause for a creative and caring community.
The festivities kicked off in March with a Bare Naked Llama Party -- a coming-out soiree for the white, fiberglass baby llama replicas -- to give everyone a chance to see the crias in their blank-canvas nakedness before local artists transformed them into spectacular painted masterpieces.
On Memorial Day weekend, the cria-tive crias went on parade. Thirty-two baby llamas of Ludlow made their way, in all their decorated glory, down Main Street for all to see. From there, they were teleported to their summer homes, to go on display at llama-sponsor businesses and public viewing areas throughout the community -- in some instances, joining an adult Llama of Lludlow from 2004. Llama Locator maps are available at participating businesses throughout the village and at lludlowllamas.com..
At summer’s end, the colorful crias will head to the auction block during the Cria Grand Auction and Street Fair on Columbus Day weekend. Some lucky high bidders will win the honor of providing new homes for the crias of their dreams and help support the Ludlow community at the same time..
The proceeds from the Columbus Day auction will be shared -- with ten percent going to the artists, ten percent going to the Black River Art Guild and the balance to Ludlow Streetscapes Inc. for use in village enhancement projects.
Although “Invasion of the Crias might never have cut it as a Star Trek episode, the words of James T. Kirk, captain of the Starship Enterprise, are fitting in describing the Llamas of Lludlow community art project, “… a dream that became a reality and spread throughout the stars,” To learn more about Ludlow’s “See the Crias llama locations and Grand Auction, please contact Kathy Burns at Vermont Properties (802-228-8877), William Nye at Hunter Lea Gallery (802-228-4703), Leslie Stuart at the Wine and Cheese Depot (802-228-4128) or visit www.lludlowllamas.com.