TRENDSPOTTING

Outside Art

Fiberglass cows are so 1999. This year, cities around the world are unveiling all kinds of playful sculptures on their streets.

By Summar Ghias, Tuesday, Mar 24, 2009, 12:00 AM

The United Buddy Bears brigade in Berlin's Bebelplatz

Globes in Houston Activist Wendy Abrams decided in 2007 to educate Chicagoans about global warming with a universal lesson plan: 120 five-foot-tall Cool Globes decorated with ideas for tackling climate change. In September, the spheres migrate to Houston, where new globes painted by Texan artists will join the lineup. coolglobes.com.

Birds in Vancouver The U.S. may have claimed the bald eagle as its symbol, but the bird likes to winter in British Columbia—which explains why seven-foot-tall likenesses of the creature will land in Vancouver this month. Painted and carved by Canadian artists, the flock of 80 will be on view through next April. eaglesinthecity.com.

Bears in Buenos Aires A Berlin businessman and his painter wife came up with the idea for the United Buddy Bears, an exhibit of 140 five-foot-tall teddies that each represent a country of the United Nations. Artists from around the world personalized the bears, which hold hands in a show of unity. Since 2002, they've visited 14 cities, and this month, they descend upon B.A. buddy-bear.com.

Hearts in San Francisco Tony Bennett wasn't kidding when he said he left his heart in San Francisco. The crooner's 1962 hit inspired an exhibit of five-foot-tall heart sculptures that are beating across the city through early September. Bennett, who moonlights as a painter, even crafted his own version, which has a permanent resting place in Union Square. sfghf.net.