I have spent a good portion of the week on designs for the upcoming Art Unleased 2010 fundraiser for the Forsyth County Humane Society. This event connects artists with the organization and the local community as a way to raise money to support the Humane Society, its programs, and the care of the animals who reside there while they wait for a new home. My daughter volunteers there once a week; she visits with the cats and she walks the dogs. She keeps me posted on all the sweeties and when they find homes. Though I live in a neighboring county now, I used to live there, 45 minutes away, and of course I have always supported this organization and others who work so hard as advocates to neglected or homeless animals.
I first got involved with Art Unleashed during their 2007/2008 event when my design was selected. There were approximately 60 designs chosen out of about 280, I believe. Each artist received a cat or dog fiberglass form to paint, decorate, or enhance in whatever way their design called for. It was amazing to see the beautiful work that came from the project and how each artist had such a different vision. Each artist and his/her dog and cat had a sponsor and the forms decorated various locations within the city during the summer months, many sitting outside the front door, some sitting inside. After being a part of our home and sitting at the table (where I painted him) for three months, my dog, "Dogwood", graced the floor at Windsor Jewelers, an upclass jewelry store. You do get somewhat attached to your critter, and it was hard to let Dogwood go, but he had a mission to accomplish! At the end of the summer, an auction was held for supporters and community members to bid on the animals... both a silent and live auction. What a fantastic night that was... about $58,000 raised... and so much fun!
This year will be a little different. Only 10 dog forms and 10 cat forms will be created, but artists are encouraged to submit designs for original art, such as a painting, collage, 3-D work, and whatever else they can think of. I'm sure there will be some fabulous work made! I will be submitting a dog form design and a cat form design. The deadline is coming soon, and notification will be towards the end of the year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that one of my designs will be chosen, but I know that Forsyth County and surrounding areas house amazing artists, so competition will be stiff. And whoever gets chosen... well, it's of course the animals who benefit!
Dogwood now belongs to a wonderful husband and wife eye-doctor team. To create the base, I thought about my own dogs and how they are so faithful and loving, such wonderful companions in all seasons of life. So they inspired the words I wrote and painted around the base of the sculpture: "I will fetch the sticks you throw into blue-dream skies. I'll carry your cares, sing them to the moon, lay among dogwood petals, waiting patiently at your feet."
And here's a photo of Dogwood at the kick-off parade...