TAHOE CITY (CBS13) – A giant sculpture of a mama bear and her two cubs, made entirely out of pennies, will stay in Tahoe City permanently.

Ursa Mater, aka Penny Bear, was originally intended to be a temporary display that would have left July 31, 2019. This week, the Placer County Board of Supervisors agreed to pay 40 thousand dollars to purchase the sculpture. Tahoe Public Art will pay an additional 61 thousand dollars.

Credit: Tahoe Public Art

Penny Bear shows a 12-foot tall mother grizzly bear nestling her two cubs, measuring six and five feet respectively. The bears’ coats were made using 200 thousand American and Canadian pennies.

Credit: Tahoe Public Art

The artists premiered Ursa Mater/Penny Bear at the 2017 Burning Man. The year before they debuted Ursa Major, which is part of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery.

Credit: Tahoe Public Art

Before coming to Heritage Park in Tahoe City Ursa Mater was exhibited in San Jose’s Office of Cultural Affairs.


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