Throughout March and April, The Wallkill River School and The Walden Humane Society are coming together to make a difference through the power of art with a one-of-a-kind benefit exhibit. At the beginning of the new year, The incredible staff at the WHS embarked on a special project. The staff and volunteers, led by Mary Zoutis, set out to have their dogs produce paintings through the use of their paws and tails! It was their hope that these works could show a more patient and creative side to the incredible animals they work with. Once the Wallkill River School was approached to help get these special pieces of art on display for the community, they fell in love with the idea, and were completely on board for a full scale exhibit.
The show will be on display March 2nd-April 29th with a reception on March 7th from 5-7pm, where guests enjoy free refreshments, meet the volunteers and staff that made this possible, and participate in a silent auction to benefit the Humane Society. Exhibit goers can expect to see a wide range of dog art, including a juried group show of dog portraits titled “Unconditional” and a solo show by Joseph Sundwall titled “Unleashed” which features many fun paintings of dogs in the context of his traditional landscape/figurative works. These exhibits will lead up to a fun filled adoption event, where artists can meet the dogs behind these masterpieces, and hopefully, assist in finding or providing a new home for them. The adoption event will be held April 5th 12-2pm and is free and open to the public.
None of this would have been possible without Mary Zoutis and her incredible work with the Humane Society of Walden, Which is a non-profit safe haven that believes all animals have a natural right to humane treatment including proper care, respect, and safe shelter. Their primary mission is to provide care while finding permanent, loving homes for the many animals that come to their door. Unfortunately, potential adopters only get to see a one dimensional view of these beautiful canines and their personalities when viewing them at the WHS facility. This is what prompted Mary to set out in pursuing this wild idea. Mary says…
“I’ve been with the Humane Society for 10 years, and it has been an amazing experience. Getting to interact with so many beautiful animals, work with such dedicated staff, and having the opportunity to connect these animals with their companions has been such an incredible opportunity. With this project, we were thrilled to be able to show a different side of these animals; not anxiously pacing in an unfamiliar cage, or barking at an unfamiliar person, instead really showcasing their compassion and character. Its our hope that people will see that these dogs have the patience to paint these works of art, and we hope this helps potential owners see a different side of the animals, one not normally seen in shelters or humane societies.”