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Local shelter dogs to create paw paintings

Photo submitted by Marietta College A dog/artist takes a break on the canvas. On May 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. paintings made by dogs from the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley shelter will be auctioned at the Hermann Fine Arts Building on the Marietta College campus. The event is a fundraiser for the humane society.

Collectors who would like to acquire a creative moment in the life of a dog at the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley are in luck.

As a way of contributing to a community cause, the Marietta College Arts Department is offering Paw Paintings: An Exhibition and Auction to Benefit the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley. The pictures are created by dogs at the shelter dabbing their paws in non-toxic paint and leaving the imprints on art paper. The works will be auctioned at a two-hour reception May 17, and the proceeds will be contributed to the humane society.

The event was conceived and is being organized by Jolene Powell, the McCoy Professor of Art and director of Gallery 310 at the college.

“It was Jolene Powell’s idea, her way of contributing to the community,” said humane society director of volunteers Ginger Eubank. “She’s donating all the supplies, the paints and canvases, and she’s coming out to the shelter Monday. We’ll lay out the canvases in our play area, the dogs will walk in some paint and we’ll let them frolic around. I don’t know exactly how that’s going to work, but Jolene will finish the paintings off. I’m not sure how they’re going to turn out, but we should have quite a few of them.”

In addition to the paw print paintings, the college said, works by art students will be up for auction, musician Justin Arthur will provide acoustic atmosphere music and food and refreshments will be available.

Eubank said one dog from the shelter will attend the event.

Assistant shelter manager Rennelle McIntire said the society hopes it might become an annual event. The shelter has a long-established relationship with the college, she said.

“Lots of them volunteer, and those that stay in Marietta often become long-term volunteers,” she said. “We take dogs down to the college for ‘pet your stress away’ during finals weeks.”

Shelter volunteers will pick their favorite dogs to do the painting Monday night, she said.

Paw Paintings – which the college said tongue-in-cheek will include works by Woof Warhol, Vincent Van Ruff, Paw Picasso and Bow-Wow O’Keefe, although for fans of abstraction no mention was made of Jackson Pawlock – will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. May 17 at the Atrium Gallery and the 310 Gallery in the Hermann Fine Arts Building. It’s a one-night-only exhibit. Eubanks said the works will be sold by silent auction, with prices probably starting at $20.

The shelter, she said Friday, is at full capacity for dogs—although it does not turn dogs away — and cats have been fostered out to make space for the spring “kitten season,” McIntire said.

In addition to Paw Paintings, the humane society has several events planned for May, including an adopt-a-thon at We Lov Pets in the Lafayette Square Center Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dog Days of May at the Belpre United Methodist Church on May 11 and an adopt-a-thon and supply drive at the Belpre Riverview Credit Union from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 31.

The shelter is also offering $99 dog adoptions in May.

McIntire said the shelter has extended its hours by one hour daily in an effort to accommodate working people who want a dog license or want to adopt an animal.

The hours, she said, are now Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you go

•What: Paw Paintings – An Exhibition and Auction to Benefit the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley.

•When: 5 to 7 p.m. May 17.

•Where: The Atrium Gallery and Gallery 310, Hermann Fine Arts Building, Marietta College.

•What to expect: Art created by dogs from the Washington County animal shelter, works by Marietta College art program students, food and refreshments, acoustic music by Justin Arthur.

•Admission: Free.

•Program: The art will be auctioned, with proceeds to benefit the Humane Society of the Ohio Valley.

Source: Marietta College.

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