Dog Days of Summer

For a long time, you've thought of your dog as an artist: she's a master of texture, weathering and deconstructing couches, fabric, and wood with a deft tooth. In her soul is a performer waiting to break loose, to entertain your friends and family with such high-skill acts as launching herself on the counter to consume whole chickens and creating post-digestion "sculptures" as tribute to her glory soon thereafter. And who can forget the soft, staccato stroke of her favorite brush, the rear-end swipe on your living room floor. Ah, the joy of the process.

Your dog may not be the finest of canine artists, and that's OK. You can still celebrate her and her contemporaries at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood's Dogs of Summer event and exhibition this weekend. Beginning Friday night at 6 and running through Sunday, the center will showcase four dogtastic exhibits as well as host pet gatherings, training classes, live music, and more. The highlight of the exhibit is the Tillamook Cheddar mid-career retrospective, a collection of works from Tillamook herself, perhaps America's finest pet artist. The ten-year-old Jack Russell Terrier literally puts paws to canvas to create what some would consider intense abstract art. She'll be on hand to meet with fans all weekend, and, on Sunday, showcase just how she creates her masterpieces firsthand. In addition, the center will open its "We Heart Pets" exhibit, a collection of artwork that celebrates the connection between people and the animals with which they share an intense bond. The catch? This exhibit will feature local and international pieces from celebrated artists and common Joes alike - you too can submit your pet artwork to be displayed in the ever-evolving showcase through August 10.

Two other exhibits - "It's a Dog's Life" from the collection of Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz and Virginia Fifield's "The Pneumatikos Series" - will be on display in the center starting with Friday’s reception, while the pet activities go down in Arts Park beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Find the center at 1650 Harrison St. in Hollywood. Admission to the A&C runs $7 per human, while the Arts Park events are free for both man and beast. Call 954-921-3274, or visit artandculturecenter.org.
June 19-Aug. 16, 2009

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John Linn