Preview Deviant Art Tonight!

The preview show for Deviant Art, a benefit art show for ARLP hosted by Sarah Thornton of Lintu Art, will be held tonight from 5-9 pm at the Northrup King Building in Minneapolis. Being that it is also the First Thursday of the month, many of the other artists’ galleries will be open to the public this evening as well.

The main event will take place Saturday, April 14 from 3-9 pm. Deviant Art is a free event and includes food and beverages, the opportunity to mingle with therapy dogs, and much more.

One of the features we’ve added in recent years is an amateur photo contest. We are pleased to announce the winner of this year’s contest:

Suvi is approximately three years old, adopted from MN Pit Bull Rescue, and the highlight of Brandy Lehto's life. Congratulations to Brandy and Suvi! As the first-place winner, Brandy will receive a photo shoot and portrait with our very own Sarah Thornton of Lintu Art.

As is possible in any blind judging contest, Brandy not only won first place but her black and white photo of Suvi won second place as well:

One of the runner-up photos, of Rottie Rogger, was the inspiration for the artwork called “Rogger Eyes” by Ramona Albrego, which hangs in the Deviant Art 2012 gallery today.

This year, we had over 60 photos submitted from 17 applicants. Because the entries were so phenomenal, the panel of judges – all professional photographers who volunteered their time to participate in three rounds of blind judging – chose to extend the number of winners to five rather than three. The five winning photos will be displayed at the event and can also be seen in our Facebook album. Thank you to all who entered!

As we’ve prepared for the event, it has been a pleasure getting better acquainted with the participating artists, many of whom have strong personal connections to the breeds served by ARLP. One such artist is Cathy Johnson, a Minnesota native whose Deviant Art piece (pictured below) embodies the connected companionship that so many humans enjoy with their pets. Johnson heard about Deviant Art from MNArtists.org and was drawn to the show because of her personal interest in dogs in general, and pit bulls in particular.

In a recent interview, Johnson gave us the scoop on her piece and her lifetime love of animals.

ARLP: How did you approach the topic of Deviant Art? What can you tell us about how your piece relates to the theme?
Johnson: The basic idea behind the piece that’s included in the show was to create an image that was happy! I wanted to draw a person with their dog that was uplifting, the way I've known dog owners. Popular stigma says pit bulls are mean, but I've only known them to be sweet and lovable.

ARLP: What was your first pet growing up? Do you have any pets now?
Johnson: My first pet was a goldfish named Goldie! We had all sorts of reptiles when I was a kid, too. I loved snakes. I've never let a bad reputation stop me from loving an animal. I just graduated college and am transitioning in my life, so it isn't the ideal condition for a pet. I've actually never owned a dog, but hope to as soon as I have a stable living condition and the finances to give a dog a great home.

ARLP: What are some of your personal experiences with real-life pit bulls, Rottweilers, or other 'Deviant' breeds?
Johnson: I went to school in Baltimore, where pit bulls are really popular. I have a lot of close friends who have pit bulls. My good friends Meg and Graham have a pit bull named Maude, who is incredibly sweet. Unfortunately, I've heard countless stories of people being afraid of Maude while out on walks [because of her breed], though she's the sweetest in the world. That's where the idea for the bandana in my artwork came from; Meg and Graham dress Maude up in sweaters and scarves to get folks on the street to not be so frightened of her, and to give her a chance.

ARLP: Do the dog and the man in your piece have any particular story behind them? What feelings do you hope that they evokes in your audience?
Johnson: I wanted to make an image that made me think of my friends, and make something that was very tender. I hope it makes the audience think of all the great people and dogs in their lives. I hope people will look at this piece and see that discrimination only creates hatred and violence.

For more information on Cathy Johnson, check out her portfolio and blog.

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