I loved reading this article on Ashland artist Dana Feagin, Animal Artists Who Give Back, an inspiring look at an artist who is using her talents to help animals. Dana not only paints adorable portraits of the animals who have been rescued and are up for adoption at Jacksonville, Oregon’s Sanctuary One; she also donates a portion of the proceeds from her work to the sanctuary, which not only cares for animals but also provides educational opportunities for anyone who wants to learn more about how to live harmoniously with animals and nature.
Dana’s work is one of many examples of the ways in which helping animals and the environment can come in many forms. At the Cynthia King Dance Studio in Brooklyn, New York, the children’s repertory includes dances about animals and nature, aiming to foster an appreciation and respect through the art and discipline of dance. (Cynthia King is also earning kudos for her cruelty-free vegan ballet slippers, which have been embraced by such celebrities as Natalie Portman and Emily Deschanel.)
One of the more heartbreaking — but very important — examples of artists championing animals is award-winning photographer Taiwanese photographer Tou Yun-fei, whose portraits of shelter dogs about to be euthanized highlights the importance of adoption and why we need to rescue animals, not buy them. And photographer Diana Bezanski is yet another photographer who has decided to donate her photography services to animal shelters to raise awareness about the plight of shelter animals (check out some of her gorgeous photos here).
Ashland Creek Press itself was founded with a mission of opening reader’s minds to issues of animal protection and the environment — and while first and foremost we aim to publish excellent books, we hope that one of the “side effects” of reading them is to inspire a greater appreciation for the planet and all its creatures and how to keep it all healthy.
I love the blog at Our Hen House — Art of the Animal — which focuses on, among other topics, the many ways that people all over the world use their own unique gifts and talents to create positive change. And don’t miss their fabulous podcasts, featuring news, reviews, and interviews with many of these amazing people.