Brian Ward and Shana Keith-Ward
Fidelity Assurance Company
was actually originally designed by
Gabi Martin with American Fidelity,
the sponsors of Clarence. They had
a contest in their creative services
department to design a buffalo that
will represent their company. Her
design was chosen and since none of
the staff had any experience with
this kind of project they asked for
one of the artists, involved with
the Spirit of the Buffalo, to "bring
Clarence to life" for them. I
got the call, and met with Gabi and
a few of her co-workers as well as
her boss to talk about the design,
so they could express to me what they
wanted to convey with the design.
Clarence is named after one or more
of the founders of American Fidelity.
He is supposed to look like what a
banker or insurance agent from the
20's (with his hat and tie) would
look like, and in his mouth he holds
a policy. He was painted gold to represent
wealth or financial security as well
as strength, as an actual golden buffalo
would likely be a very strong structure.
He has a variety of signs or advertisements
on his back that all describe the
photos for close-up
American Fidelity company and their
policies, all using the "A"
and "F" of their name (i.e.
Always Financially secure, Always
Flexible, etc.). On one of his hips,
he has the American Fidelity logo
appearing to be "branded"
there. He has American colors in his
tie and hat band to represent the
name as well, and with the use of
the colors and the style of the signage
on his back, he is supposed to look
nostalgic or "Americana" style (an
antique look to represent the time
period of which the founding fathers
of the company lived).
Because of vandals or accidents the
policy has had to be remounted several
times and has gone through a series
of touch-ups, so the viewers have
not gotten to see him as he is supposed
to be presented, but he will get a
once over before he goes to his home
on the grounds at American Fidelity
to make sure he is completely presentable.