Deviant Art 2013: Interview with Featured Artist, Clara Yori

Deviant Art will take place at the Northrup King building in Minneapolis on Saturday April 6, 2013 from 3-9 pm. There will also be a preview show the evening of Thursday, April 4. Deviant Art is a FREE event where you can experience Rott- and pit-themed professional artwork, enjoy food and beverages, and bask in the attention of a number of therapy dogs. For more information on Deviant Art, visit the website or RSVP on Facebook.

A Rotta Love Plus
’s popular annual art show, Deviant Art: Dispelling Myths, is right around the corner. Started in 2009, Deviant Art is a benefit art show put together by Sarah Thornton of Lintu Art to raise awareness and funds for ARLP and its programs. Not only will the event feature talented local and national artists, but we also have some canine "star power" this year: Wallace (World Champion disc dog) and Hector (former Michael Vick dog turned therapy dog) will both be in attendance!

Given the pit bull "celebrities" joining us for Deviant Art, it's particularly fitting that the talented Featured Artist for the 2013 show is Clara Yori, a painter from Rochester, MN who also happens to be these famous pups' mom. Clara, who holds a degree in Studio Art from Saint Mary's University, uses rich layers of acrylic paint to bring out the life and love behind her favorite subject: dogs, of course! Check out Pet Portraits by Clara for more information on our featured artist.

In anticipation of the event, we asked Clara to tell us a bit about herself and her inspiration for Deviant Art’s featured piece, Dapper Hector.


Dapper Hector

Dapper Hector

What made you want to get involved with the Deviant Art show?
Clara: I have attended the show several times and was very impressed with the level of talent and the passion that went into the event and the pieces themselves. It never occurred to me to be a part of the show. I was merely an admirer.

ARLP: Tell us something about how you approach the topic of “deviant” breeds. What does “Deviant Art” mean to you?
Clara: My husband and I have a couple of pit bulls who are often in the spotlight. We have reached a lot of people by showing them that our dogs are both extraordinary but also very normal dogs. I think that's important: These "deviant" breeds are regular dogs with individual personalities and, if they're lucky, loving homes. "Deviant Art" to me means doing my best to show the goofy, fun, sweet, serious, and expressive side of each individual dog.

ARLP: Who was your first pet growing up?
Clara: My first pet was a guinea pig named Katie. I had two more guinea pigs and collected all kinds of amphibians, reptiles, and insects before I finally got my first dog, Heidi, a beagle/sheltie from our local shelter. I was in love with her and I remember doing a lot of drawings of her.

Wallace at the Pet Portraits by Clara studio

Wallace at the Pet Portraits by Clara studio

ARLP: How would you describe the piece of art that was chosen as the featured piece for Deviant Art, "Dapper Hector"? What feelings do you hope that it evokes in your audience?
Clara: The painting is of my dog, Hector. I love that it sums him up for me, dressed for the spotlight while remaining a big, happy dork. I hope it makes people smile.

ARLP: What are some of your personal experiences with real-life pit bulls, Rottweilers, or other “deviant” breeds? Overall, have these experiences led you to believe that these breeds are sinister, sweet, or somewhere in between?
Clara: My first real experiences with the "deviant" breeds was when I worked at a dog shelter after college. I was naive to the negative perceptions about certain dogs so I really had no fears going into it. What I met was a rotating group of dogs of all shapes and sizes who all had different backgrounds, strengths, and weaknesses, but they all wanted the same basic things: food and water, playtime, and someone who really cares about them.

ARLP: How do your current pets inspire your work?
Clara: I did a painting of each of my pets when I finally decided that I wanted to try painting. It was no pressure, just working at home, them watching me, while I pretended to be an artist. Those paintings gave me the confidence to continue and I'm so glad that I did.

Wallace and Roo Yori

 Wallace and Roo Yori, who will also be at Deviant Art

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