Forest and Ocean Gallery goes to the dogs for art auction benefitting The Little Red Dog Rescue

By DIANNE RUSSELL

On Saturday evening, dog lovers filled the Forest and Ocean Gallery for a special charity auction, “Art For Dogs.” The event featured original works and prints by modern artists. It’s a charity street art auction with all funds raised benefitting The Little Red Dog Rescue of Orange County (TLRD).

This is a return engagement for “Art For Dogs” at the gallery. Their first auction event in March raised over $10,000.

An Orange County-based non-profit founded in 2011 by Steve McClain and PJ Rosch, TLRD rescues dogs from high kill shelters and finds loving homes for them. In 2017, they saved 287 dogs from being euthanized at city and county shelters in Southern California. They adopted out 274 of that number. 

Forest and co founders

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Photo by Dianne Russell

TLRD rescue co-founders, Steve McClain and PJ Rosch

TLRD was founded in memory of the American Pit Bull Terrier beaten to death by Michael Vick and his cronies as chronicled in The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption.

The Street Art community embraced The Little Red Dog’s event with donated artworks by Banksy and G$, The Urban Art Collective and several others. Laura Browning, Ronnie Cutrone also donated pieces.

Street Art has emerged as the new modern art, with six-figure auction results occurring regularly through the largest auction houses worldwide. This new pop art is the purest form of artist’s expression. The pieces are not made for commercial purposes, social appeal or profit. The outlaws who create this art risk criminal prosecution to give their art away.

The first piece to be sold was by artist Alex Schaefer and went to local bidder Yoshi O’Connor. 

Forest and Yoshi

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Photo by Dianne Russell

Local bidder Yoshi O’Connor stands next to her new painting

Forest and Ocean Gallery, which is close to the Festival of Arts, seemed to be a stopping place for visitors walking to the Festival and many wandered in to see what was going on. Given the festive atmosphere, apparently, it was difficult not to join in.

And the auction had a special event outside on the sidewalk to further entice people to stop. It featured fascinating and unbelievable Live Painting by Artist Amy Burkman, who is a speed painting artist specializing in live art. And, not surprisingly, she wowed the audience. 

Burkman transforms a canvas into a painting in under ten minutes. And on Saturday night, she treated a crowd of over 50 spectators outside the gallery to two incredible demonstrations of her live art, which she paints upside down (the painting, not her).

Forest and Burkman

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Photo by Tony Newcomb

Amy Burkman with completed second painting

An animal lover, Burkman believes in Art with Heart and uses her art in conjunction with social initiatives to raise money for charity. 

For a whopping $500, a local dog lover won the bid for Burkman’s first painting of the evening, a dog. 

And besides donations, PJ Rosch says, “We always need foster homes for the dogs, especially for senior dogs. We’re trying to match up senior dogs with seniors.”

It’s difficult to believe that owners dump their aging dogs at a shelter, however, PJ says it happens all the time

On TLRD website, it says, “The Little Red Dog fights for all the dogs, red, blue, tan, white, brown, black and all colors in between. We do not discriminate against any breed; that’s because we are a real rescue, and we will help as many animals as we can. Our primary goal is to get them into loving homes. Our hope is that someday all of them make it out, but most of all, we will never forget the Little Red Dog and many others who did not.”

TLRD’s motto is, “We are on a mission from dogs.” And it’s a great mission.

For more information about TLRF or to view the dogs up for adoption, go to www.thelittlereddog.com.