The Dog Artist, Dog Lover and Pet Owner
"DOGMATIC" I guess in many ways this aptly describes me – and others who love dogs as much as I do. We who are devoted to our dogs are generally nice people who are baffled by those who do not share our passion. Those who have not experienced the joy and comfort of living with an animal whose sole purpose in life is to love us no matter what. The one friend who is never too busy, or too tired, or too preoccupied with their own problems. The only earthly source of truly unconditional love, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, till death do us part.
There are some who will read that paragraph and think I’m going overboard, putting dogs above people, being disrespectful, maybe even downright sacrilegious. But I am, after all, admittedly dogmatic. I do love dogs and all the good things that they bring to our lives, and I have never been shy about expressing my opinion on the subject. I grew up with dogs as members of the family; more than just pets or even adored and trusted “best friends”. They were the slightly odd brothers and sisters who didn’t have to go to school and who were always there to listen to my complaints, hold my secrets, and comfort me when I cried. They also taught me how to play; how to take joy in the moment, and how to forgive and forget.
With all that you’d think this would be a friendly show about the beautiful relationship between people and dogs, celebrating the dog in all its glory. No so. I am also a bit pragmatic (read: “practical, realistic, sensible”). I have seen the other side of this complex relationship. Cruelty and indifference often results as a by-product of absolute power and the knowledge that it is easy to cover a crime that most of society is more than willing to ignore. Animal abuse is the occasional “hot topic” in the news, and everyone knows it exists, but few are willing to accept that it might be happening next door. They don’t want to see. I have taken this opportunity to show just a bit of what I have seen, and hopefully shine a bit of light into a dark hole.
I have also seen the backside of my dog when she is ignoring me. I have seen the look in her eye when she is trying so hard to make me understand something, convinced that I am really dense, (It must be hard for her to idolize me as a god and yet realize that I’m so dumb that I can’t understand that she really, really wants that cookie over there.)
I love dogs. I understand dogs. I enjoy the company of others who love dogs. I want to share a little of my childhood fantasies and adult experiences with those who are willing to take small steps into my world; to play and to think.
If you love dogs and are planning to be in the Asheville, NC area in May, you will want to stop in to see a very unusual art exhibit. Artist Cheryl Andrews is presenting "Dogmatic" in the Owen Gallery on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. With a blend of humor, satire, and "biting" insight, Cheryl has assembled over 35 of her large and small scale ceramic sculptures and over 130 photographs as part of a 3 year project documenting the lives of dogs in today's society. The show will be open from May 5th through May 16th. For more information, call 828-251-6559 or email: FatDogArt@charter.net
You will recognize Fat Dog Art by signature work created especially for this site!