I have mentioned before how much I enjoy making new connections on
LinkedIn. When you make a new friend, LinkedIn gives
you other people that share your interests.
One suggestion I received was for Mark Barone and it featured his photo
with paintings of dogs. Intrigued by the
fabulous art, I clicked to read more about him.
I was so moved by what I discovered that I immediately asked to join his
circle. When he accepted, I asked if it
would be okay to write a post about the work he, Marina Dervan, and Brenda
Cooper are doing to bring awareness to shelter dogs. They were so kind in making themselves
available for questions and supplying me access to their photos.
|♥ This is Blue's Night Light ♥|
Be prepared to discover An Act of Dog, Museum of Compassion. This is a poignant reminder of the plight of shelter dogs in America. Mark spends his days capturing the souls of dogs who did not make it out of the shelter system. Through his art, you feel the presence of these animals, the love they yearned for, but never found, and the hope that other dogs will be luckier. Mark and Marina’s goal is to immortalize 5,500 dogs and permanently display this inspiring exhibit, build a forever fund, and use 100% of the donations towards saving shelter animals. The hope is to have an educational platform to promote compassion for all animals.
From the An Act of Dog website:
"We did this for significant cultural change. We want to inform the general public about what's going on, that their tax dollars are basically going to fund killing machines at these shelters." I know that we all know people in the dog and shelter worlds that are incredibly devoted. Mark and Marina are amazing in their efforts to make America a no-kill nation. They gave up their regular jobs, retirement savings, and various material comforts to fulfill their goal. Mark has been an artist for over thirty years with his work featured in top art publications, receiving countless awards, and exhibited throughout the U.S.A. He was also a consultant to cities across the country to show how the arts can revitalize blighted neighborhoods. Marina spent over twenty years as a corporate executive trainer, conflict resolution coach, and radical honesty trainer, coaching executives from Wall St. to London.
In the spring of 2011, they moved from Santa Fe to Louisville, Kentucky in a space that is large enough to accommodate the work and ample storage space. They work seven days a week. Mark is usually painting fifty 12”x12” paintings of dogs at a time from dawn until around midnight. Marina is wearing a multitude of hats, including the heart-breaking part of receiving and organizing new images and stories they receive daily of dogs that have been put down at shelters.
An Act of Dog
“Every generation is remembered for something. Let’s be the one to cultivate a compassionate generation.”
I mentioned in the beginning that the goal was to paint 5,500 dogs. This was
not just a random number. It is the number of dogs killed in American
shelters. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The
rate is double that for cats. It time
that we as a dog-loving nation stand up and say, “No more senseless killing of
dogs and cats unfortunate enough not to have a loving home.” I’d like to believe that we are better than
this. We are very quick to condemn other
countries for their treatment of stray dogs and cats. It’s time that we look in the mirror at our
own ways of dealing with the homeless pet population.
|♥ Katrina's Night Light ♥|
You can help be a part of An Act of Dog “Candle Light Vigil” to honor the 5,500 forgotten shelter dogs that never lived to know love, and illuminate our homes with their stunning portraits as fine art night-lights from the wall of compassion exhibit. It would be awesome to light up every home and let these lovely souls glow and unite us in a quest to save the rest. You can order today and choose from sixteen beautiful lost dogs. I had to ask Mark if he had painted a Basset Hound and he sent me a photo pf
the one he
is currently painting. I hope to have
Grant, who was killed for having a food aggression, lighting my home for
Christmas. Each night light costs $38 and
would make a beautiful Christmas gift for the rescue lover on your list.
|♥ Grant, the Basset Hound ♥|
Mark admits that some of the paintings have taken an emotional toll. Most of the portraits are in a 12”x12” format, but ten of the especially tragic stories that exemplify “the excuses of people to perpetuate the killing” have been selected for large scale 8’x8’ paintings. Please take a moment to peruse through the An Act of Dog website. I can tell you that it affected me in a way that I had not expected. I hope to make a trip to Louisville one day, visit the Museum of Compassion, and meet the remarkable Mark and Marina.
|This Collage of Compassion feature 4% of the 5,500 portraits.|
Below is a video from An Act of Dog. They teamed up with a documentary filmmaker to track the project until completion. I believe you'll enjoy it.
Our Tuesdays are also special because we join Dogz ‘n Pawz and Talking Dogs as they host Tuesday’s Tails. This blog hop features shelter pets from around the globe that need forever homes. Please visit and share these deserving dogs and cats on social media. To see the dogs available at PetSavers in Shreveport, click here.
**Last night I met five of my best friends from high school for the first time in forever. I won’t say how many years it’s been, but a lot of my audience wasn’t born yet. ☺ It was so much fun to see them again. It is true what they say about true friends, no matter how much time passes, after a few minutes it is as if you were never apart. Thanks for the laughter and let’s get together again!
|From L to R: Cindy Byrd, Tracy Carpenter, me, Jana Johnston (blue shirt), Debbie Berthelot, and Katy Blount.|