Dog Days of Summer

Madison student artists
create three-dimensional dog portraits

Artistic panels will decorate courtyard

By Laura Hodges
Contributing Writer

(August 2011) – Jac-Cen-Del Elementary School art teacher Stacy Hardesty-Gray thinks children just don’t get enough art education in the schools. So she devotes part of her summer to helping local children discover their artistic talents by painting dogs.
This summer her students are creating dog portraits on wooden panels that will be installed in the courtyard behind The Blue Cerebus Dog Boutique at 133 E. Main St., Madison, Ind.

Students Painting

Photo by Laura Hodges

Working on their dog portraits are
(from left): Megan Gray, 13; Cain
Nutley, 11; Conner Hubbard, 11; and
Nicole McKown, 15. Their finished work
will hang in the courtyard behind The Blue
Cerebus Dog Boutique, 133 E. Main St.

Other summers she has had children paint dog murals at the Madison Dog Park, the Jefferson County Animal Shelter, the Indian Trails Restaurant in Canaan, and the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.
Her students range in age from 11 to 15. Each picked a photograph of a personable canine for the project. Then Hardesty-Gray taught them how to deconstruct that image into its basic shapes so that they could successfully draw it in three dimensions. With dogs, it’s a matter of using shading to make the snout appear to rise from the surface, she said. After the sketch is complete, then students learned to blend paints to get the effects they wanted. The paintings use brightly colored backgrounds to give them a whimsical feel.
The students are using outdoor paint and a sealant because the paintings will be displayed outside.
“Hopefully they’ll hold up for a while,’ said Hardesty-Gray. “What’s nice for the kids is that this is more professional than just making a painting to display at home. This is public art.”
They will join a couple of large artworks created for The Blue Cerebus by local artist Amy Vaughn, who owns Galatea’s Art Supplies at 324 Mulberry St.
“We love to support anything local,” said Dawn Cleary, owner of Blue Cerebus. “We’re always trying to tie in to the downtown and the local community.”
The courtyard where the art will be displayed is a play area for dogs and their owners. Once a year, it is the setting for a day of “dog art” during which pets create their own artworks.
The students’ pictures will go up for display in August at The Blue Cerebus Dog Boutique. Cleary said photos of the paintings will be posted on the store’s Facebook profile.

Back to August 2011 Articles.



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