Students in Professor Bob Villamagna’s Sculpture II class created and marched a large elephant puppet in the 2010 Wheeling “Fantasy In Lights Parade.” The design of the puppet was inspired by Salvador Dali’s surrealist masterpiece “Les Elephants.” The project was designed, built and marched through the streets of Wheeling by WLU students under the direction of Professor’s Robert Villamagna and Paul Padgett. Professor Villamagna and WLU pass their thanks to Sculpture II students Josh Rogers, Jenny Osler, Yvonne Barry, and Robert Peterson for making the beast actually happen! And special thanks to Chris Villamagna and Paul Padgett for their help in the elephant!
The parade is attended by thousands of people and broadcast live on local channels WTRF and WTOV. “I think my favorite is the elephant,” said Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Frank O’Brien, referring to West Liberty University’s art students’ float that humorously dropped brown rocks from its rear and a student would shovel them into a bucket as they fell.” With ninety entries in the parade that is high praise. Spectators along the parade route commented on “what a pleasant and unusual surprise” the elephant was and that they appreciate WLU’s efforts.