You may wonder, what is it like, being a bear, made of bronze, a somewhat famous statue in the city of Guelph. Why start a twitter account? What gives me the right to ‘represent’ BeggingBear, when I am not a representative of the Art Gallery of Guelph, the City of Guelph, or the University of Guelph. Kinda nervy to just lay claim to something that I have no right too.
It all began as a seminar on Twitter. Interesting program, but what did I have to say that I thought people would be interested in? Who would bother to follow the ramblings of person with no fame, no intrinsically interesting story, and not a lot of connections. Well, I created an account, and, as a University of Guelph Alumni, decided to see what was up with the school. There are a ton of accounts for the U of Goo. The one that really caught my eye was Old Jeremiah, the cannon. I wondered what faculty member or administrator would be running an account for the cannon. The more I watched, the more I became convinced it wasn’t an official U of Goo account, it was an individual who, while they seemed to be involved with the campus, didn’t seem to be an official spokes….spokescannon. I thought, heck, why not do the same for my favourite statue, Begging Bear? I looked, and while there was a twitter account for BeggingBear, there was no activity. None. Dormant like, well, like a bear in winter. So, I went for TheBeggingBear and started to tweet.
Suddenly, Twitter was fun. I learned quite a bit in the early days, and I started to converse with @OldJeremiah. People enjoyed our interactions. I grew a following. BeggingBear started to develop a personality. I thought at some point the Art Gallery, the University, or the City might tell me to stop. So, to help put that off, I decided to do a bit of research about the statue, its creator and its meaning.
Being part of the Donald Foster Sculpture Park suggested I should support the Arts, particularly the local art scene. Carl Skelton, the sculptor, intended the statue as a statement on human encroachment on the natural environment and the need for habitat protection. Ok, so Begging Bear supports the environment and arts.
But wait. I’m also a resident of the City of Guelph, and people from Guelph have been dressing up the bear to advertise special events, fundraising efforts, and well, maybe just for fun. So Begging Bear’s personality was complete. A supporter of the Arts, the environment, and Guelph events. Now, just add a touch of humour and a bit of sarcasm, and @thebeggingbear was born.
I hope you enjoy it, while it lasts. Honestly, I’m still half expecting the City, the University, or the Art Gallery to shut me down. So, we’ll just see how long it takes for that to happen.
Good Bear, nice Bear. I think well behaved bears get to keep tweeting longer than bad bears do.