When art goes to the dogs

While only one bloom of the Reflecting Blooms drinking fountain is for pets, the article below lets Calgary’s animal lovers know they are not alone. New York shares the love.

How appropriate that the Basset Hound’s name is Riley!


Calgary Herald
Aug 19, 2017

New York City ex­hibit tar­gets ca­nines

Riley, a basset hound, exits Noah Scalin’s The Hand That Feeds. There weren’t any pictures of dogs playing poker at DoGUMENTA

A recent three-day art exhibition for dogs attracted hundreds of canines to a marina in Lower Manhattan, where hounds and terriers feasted their eyes, and in some cases their mouths, on nearly a dozen masterpieces created expressly for them.

The idea was the brainchild of former Washington Post art critic Jessica Dawson, who says she was inspired by her rescue dog Rocky, a tiny morkie ( Yorkie-Maltese mix), who regularly joins her at exhibits of the human variety.

“When Rocky accompanied me on my gallery visits, I noticed he was having a much better time than I was,” said Dawson, who moved to New York four years ago. “He was not reading the New York Times reviews, he was not reading the artists’ resumés, and so I said he has something to teach me about looking. All dogs have something to teach us about looking at contemporary art and being with it.”

Organizers of the exhibit — which takes its name from Documenta, held every five years in Kassel, Germany — and put on by Arts at Brookfield, staggered the arrival times of the dogs to keep things orderly.

“I think she’s enjoying it,” said Lorraine Gates, who attended with her tiny Japanese chin, Maltese and Papillon mix. “I love this idea. I think it’s really wonderful.”

The 10 works of art at the outdoor exhibit were all strategically placed at eye level for the canines. One featured an elaborate display of dog biscuits and other treats that attendees were invited to munch on.

At another exhibit, four-legged art critics were lifting their hind legs and “expressing” themselves on a work called Fountain. As the dogs left their marks, scribbles of blue streaks were left behind on the white blocks.

Dawson said Rocky visited several times.

Susan Godwin and her morkie, Tasha, soaked up the art vibes.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Godwin said. “You can go to museums all over New York and you can never bring your dog.”

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You can go to museums all over New York and you can never bring your dog.

If New York can do it, so can Calgary.

Be part of it;
a beautiful public drinking fountain,
for Riley Park, for you and as a legacy for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for Water for Riley project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer organizer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.