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Help bring Tillie, the world's preeminent canine artist, and her mobile unit across the USA to create art and record the journey.

The Tillie Tip to Tail Tour

The Tillie Mobile Unit (TMU) is a 21st-century traveling pop-up studio/gallery/performance venue dedicated to the art and career of Tillamook Cheddar--aka Tillie--a 14-year old Jack Russell Terrier widely regarded as the world's preeminent canine artist. 

Tillie at work on the TMU stage.
Tillie at work on the TMU stage.

In August 2013, the TMU will be bringing Tillie, her son Doc, her assistant Bowman, and the rest of the 8-person/2-dog TMU Crew from West Pawlet, Vermont to Tillamook, Oregon--stopping to create new paintings in different locations across the USA. 

TMU unveiling under the Manhattan Bridge. Brooklyn, NY. Aug. 2011.
TMU unveiling under the Manhattan Bridge. Brooklyn, NY. Aug. 2011.

It is our goal to bring the art of Tillamook Cheddar directly to The People. Tillie will be making paintings on the TMU stage at each of our designated stops, allowing people to see her process up close and in person. Tillie inspires those who witness her at work. 

"I love Tillie's drawings," says Diane Dwyer, one of Tillie's collaborators. "Watching her work makes me think about what drawing is. Is it marking presence? Documenting action? Expressing emotion?"

Kevin Frank, who painted Tillie's portrait, says of her work: "All visual artists, in one way or another, engage in some manner of mark-making. Whether the style of painting is representational or abstract, the level of effort and attention to the image remain the same. Tillie's work fits naturally into this dynamic. Acting on pure instinct and a desire to work, Tillie's repeated scratching and biting of the picture surface reveal patterns and shapes that are purely unselfconscious. It's no wonder that Tillie's paintings could be easily mistaken for the work of a human being. It is pure visual energy."

Video cameras will be rolling throughout the two weeks of travel,­­ recording public performances, private moments, and bumps along the way.

Tillie Mobile Unit

A 12-foot 1958 Mobile Scout camper trailer, originally manufactured in California, has been converted on the East Coast into the ultimate dog art caravan. The transformation from trailer to TMU has been four years in the making.

The TMU, Aug 2011. Photos by The Shaltzes.
The TMU, Aug 2011. Photos by The Shaltzes.

The old trailer was completely gutted; the electrical system rewired; the floor reinforced and rubberized; and the walls skinned in white enameled aluminum. Original cabinetry was customized to become display vitrines for Tillie’s art. An internal superstructure was engineered and fabricated to make the back pop open and form a canopy above the roll-out stage. The stage itself unfolds from an interior rear bench. This is where Tillies conducts her public demonstrations--complete with luxurious front-row seating for the enrapt audiences. 

The TMU has its own 1000-watt sound system with ultra-frequency bass response (subWOOFer) and four LED TILLIEvision monitors, including a 30-inch screen inside the back of the Unit, which flips down and rotates when the stage is deployed, so that it’s visible to the audience. The Unit also features a stocked “private” cocktail and cordials corner (for adult humans); specialty first-aid kit for canine/human care; and secluded, soundproof, upholstered quarters for Tillie and her son Doc, accessible from inside the trailer or through the newly installed separate side entrance.

As our Kickstarter campaign gets underway, the Tillie Tip to Tail Tour will take shape, as events are scheduled and stops are added. Our basic route includes stops in New York City, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Colorado, New Mexico, California, and Oregon. But if you are a $10k backer, we will be more than happy to go out of our way and come to you.  

The video footage from the trip will form the basis of a feature-length documentary film about Tillamook Cheddar and her art.

SOME OF OUR REWARDS...

EVERYONE WHO PLEDGES $5 or MORE WILL BE THANKED BY NAME (OR IF YOU PREFER, BY YOUR DOG'S -- OR CAT'S -- NAME) IN THE CREDITS OF THE FORTHCOMING FEATURE-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY ABOUT TILLIE.

Tillie Temporary Tattoo Two-pack:  $5 and up

Bitchin!
Bitchin!

Tillie Sticker 2-pack: $10 and up

One 2.75" square "Posse" sticker + one die-cut Tillie Heart sticker
One 2.75" square "Posse" sticker + one die-cut Tillie Heart sticker

TMU "were going places" Poster (12x18") designed & signed by smarcus, plus Tillie Temporary Tattoo Two-pack: $25 and up

Going places!
Going places!

Copy of Tillie's first biography, Portrait of the Dog as a Young Artist, signed by the author and stamped with the artist's paw print, plus Tillie Sticker Two-pack: $30 and up

Books will be stamped with Tillie's paw print on the title page. Personal inscriptions optional.
Books will be stamped with Tillie's paw print on the title page. Personal inscriptions optional.

One "Tillamook Cheddar Has a Posse" t-shirt (men's, women's & children's sizes), plus Tillie Sticker Two-pack: $50 and up

Join the Posse!
Join the Posse!

Working Replica of Tillie "Posse" Tape Measure, used in construction of the TMU (and featured in Kickstarter video), with Copy of Tillie's first biography, Portrait of the Dog as a Young Artist, signed by the author and stamped with the artist's paw print, plus Tillie Sticker Two-pack: $100 and up

It's Official!
It's Official!

SUPER EXCLUSIVE Official TEAM TILLIE embroidered patch, with Copy of Tillie's first biography, Portrait of the Dog as a Young Artist, signed by the author and stamped with the artist's paw print, plus Tillie Sticker Two-pack and Tillie Temporary Tattoo Two-pack: $250 and up

Get on Team Tillie!
Get on Team Tillie!

Tillamook Cheddar archival digital print, your choice from selection of 10 full-sized reproductions, including those pictured below: $500 and up

See more paintings at tillie.org
See more paintings at tillie.org

Bring a date to Tillie's Brooklyn atelier for private Tillie Jazz event with wine and Tillamook Cheddar cheese. Plus signed copies of Tillie's first biography, Portrait of the Dog as a Young Artist: $600 and up

Official TMU CREW sweatsuit. Dress like a member of the TMU CREW. With Copy of Tillie's first biography, Portrait of the Dog as a Young Artist, signed by the author and stamped with the artist's paw print, plus Tillie Sticker Two-pack and Tillie Temporary Tattoo Two-pack: $1000 and up

Join the TMU Crew!
Join the TMU Crew!

Tillie Jazz party, at Tillie's Brooklyn atelier, or your own private location (NYC-area), for you and 7 guests. With wine and Tillamook Cheddar cheese. Plus archival digital print of the painting created during the event and signed Tillie biographies for all 8 attendees: $2000 and up

Original Painting by Tillamook Cheddar, to be created during visit to Tillie's Brooklyn atelier, or to be selected from Tillamook Cheddar original painting archive (including paintings pictured above): $3000 and up

The TMU Comes to You! Tillie and the TMU will make a visit to you for a full deployment of the Tillie Mobile Unit, and a private painting demonstration for you and your guests. And you'll get to keep the original painting! (Anywhere in contiguous 48 states.): $10,000 and up

Let's go!
Let's go!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The primary challenges and risks facing our project are mortality, money, and mechanical failure.

Mortality. We are in a race against time. One reason we feel it imperative to take this journey this summer is that we honestly do not know how much longer Tillie will be in the physical condition necessary to make such a long car trip, with regular performances scheduled along the way. At 14 years old, Tillie is in fine health and still enjoys making art on a daily basis. But having already survived a brain tumor in 2010 -- with the help of radiation treatment under the care of Dr. Richard Joseph and the staff of the Animal Specialty Center, in Yonkers, NY-- Tillie is already living on borrowed time. If Tillie were not in shape to make the trip, then we would not go ahead with it. We cannot wait another year to embark.

Money. The task of bringing a crew of 8 people and 2 dogs, including a 2-person camera crew, on a 4,000-mile journey, with three vehicles and one elaborate trailer, is going to cost money. Having expended a great deal of our personal finances in constructing the TMU over the past four years, we are looking to individual members of the public to fund our cross-country public art journey.

Mechanical failure, in the form of a breakdown, a road accident, or other unexpected malfunction, is another concern we have as we embark on this adventure. Having already confronted and solved a host of mechanical challenges through the construction of the TMU, we are confident that we have the right Team members to solve whatever mechanical difficulties we might face during our trip.

The race against time is not limited to the mortal being of our featured canine. We also have our back against the wall in trying to finalize the details of our trip over the next six weeks. We need to secure the necessary locations and accompanying permissions for each of our scheduled stops. We also have a host of other travel preparations to make, including making connections with local people along our route to involve them in ways we may not even have imagined. But with our Production Coordinator Valerie Greene in charge of the logistics of the journey, we are confident that all such trials imposed by time and space will be met with patience, good humor, and the skill necessary to see us through to the next challenge.

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    Tillie Temporary Tattoo Two-pack

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    You (and/or your pet) will be thanked in the credits of the forthcoming feature-length documentary about Tillamook Cheddar and her art career.

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    Tillie Sticker Two-pack

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    Triple Two-Pack! Two Sets of Tillie Temporary Tattoos, plus Tillie Sticker Two-pack

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    Set of 3 Tillie art notecards & envelopes

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    TMU "were going places" Poster designed & signed by smarcus, plus Tillie Temporary Tattoo Two-pack

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    Tillie Tee-shirt Grab Bag (One tee shirt of OUR choice, selected from the Tillie Tee-shirt Vault), plus Tillie Temporary Tattoo Two-pack

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    Copy of Tillie's first biography, Portrait of the Dog as a Young Artist, signed by the author and stamped with the artist's paw print, plus Tillie Sticker Two-pack

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    One "Tillamook Cheddar Has a Posse" t-shirt (men's, women's & children's sizes), plus Tillie Sticker Two-pack

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    Working Replica of Tillie Tape Measure, used in construction of the TMU (and featured in Kickstarter video), with Copy of Tillie's first biography, Portrait of the Dog as a Young Artist, signed by the author and stamped with the artist's paw print, plus Tillie Sticker Two-pack

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    SUPER EXCLUSIVE Official TEAM TILLIE embroidered patch, with Copy of Tillie's first biography, Portrait of the Dog as a Young Artist, signed by the author and stamped with the artist's paw print, plus Tillie Sticker Two-pack and Tillie Temporary Tattoo Two-pack

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    Tillamook Cheddar archival digital print (your choice from selection of 10 full-sized reproductions)

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    Bring a date to Tillie's Brooklyn atelier for private Tillie Jazz event with wine and Tillamook Cheddar cheese. Plus signed copies of Tillie's first biography, Portrait of the Dog as a Young Artist.

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    Official TMU CREW sweatsuit. Dress like a member of the TMU CREW. With Copy of Tillie's first biography, Portrait of the Dog as a Young Artist, signed by the author and stamped with the artist's paw print, plus Tillie Sticker Two-pack and Tillie Temporary Tattoo Two-pack

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    Tillie Jazz party, at Tillie's Brooklyn atelier, or your own private location (NYC-area), for you and 7 guests. With wine and Tillamook Cheddar cheese. Plus archival digital print of the painting created during the event and signed Tillie biographies for all 8 attendees.

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    Original Painting by Tillamook Cheddar, to be created during visit to Tillie's Brooklyn atelier, or to be selected from Tillamook Cheddar original painting archive.

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    The TMU Comes to You! Tillie and the TMU will make a visit to you for a full deployment of the Tillie Mobile Unit, and a private painting demonstration for you and your guests. And you'll get to keep the original painting! (Anywhere in contiguous 48 states.)

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