Visual arts

Student Pet Paintings Encourage Animal Adoption in Connecticut

Kris Wetmore, visual arts teacher at Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School, was inspired by a project to find homes for cats and dogs.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Have you ever looked at your dog or cat and felt like they were looking straight into your soul?

A group of art students from a magnet school in New Haven captured the essence of a four-legged group of friends by pushing the message “adopt, don’t buy.”

“When they see Frannie, I want them to look her in the eye and see the glint in her eye,” said Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School student Dariana Pollasco.

Standing in a grass of flowers, mouth wide open and ears back, Frannie, a pit bull terrier, was one of 13 pets waiting to be brought home, and she was after that the portrait of Pollasco had been completed.

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“I just want to put myself in the shoes of the animals and they’re all sad and lonely and have no homes,” Pollasco added.

Thanks to their natural talent and love for art, the group of cats and dogs have a new home.

For student Oliver Colacino, painting Rosie the cat, a calico, was not easy.

It took a little over a month to perfect these furry strokes on canvas.

“We would come up to the table and we would get a plate and we would put on the different colors that we wanted to incorporate into the portrait. Some people were playing around with it and doing backgrounds in different colors. I did blue,” said Colacino.

The idea came from Ms. Wetmore, the student visual arts teacher at Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School.

Inspired by a similar project from another teacher in the Midwest, she phoned the New Haven Animal Shelter for permission to help adopt some of their pets through art.

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“If they were having trouble with a part, I would ask them to practice on some boards, I would give them a piece of board and say okay, let’s practice making fur, practice making mustaches,” added Kris Wetmore.

From practice to perfection, the portraits have been hanging in the Mitchell Branch Library for a month now, hoping to catch the attention of visitors.

“It’s fantastic and everyone who comes here really loves it,” said Marian Huggins, branch manager at the Mitchell Branch Library.

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With the overwhelming responses, there are only two left to adopt – Sophie, the long-haired calico, and Snoopy, the pit bull terrier.

FOX61 stopped by the New Haven Animal Shelter to find out more about the two remaining animals.

Sophie was caught in the middle of her nap as she stared sleepily at the camera.

A sign outside her cage says Sophie is 5 years old and needs a patient family she can trust.

Snoopy, on the other hand, was a ball of energy, a dog that has been at the shelter for over a year.

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“She’s a really good dog. One of her issues is that she has to be the only pet home, so we’re looking for the right home where she’ll be successful,” said Joseph Manganiello, animal control officer. from the New Haven Animal Shelter.

Officer Manganiello was convinced that Snoopy’s portrait would lead her to the right family.

“It’s almost like they captured the souls of the pets in the pictures they were drawing and for me, when I saw the pictures and their likeness, I thought that was right,” added Officer Manganiello.

The paintings will be in the library until the end of this month.

If you are interested in adopting Sophie or Snoopy, click here for more information.

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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