The John Natsoulas Center for the Arts is highly involved in the collaboration and advancement of the arts in Northern California. Bark! continues this relationship by honoring the historic and ongoing depiction of dogs within past and contemporary art. Dogs have a long history of being involved in art. Many artists have included dogs into their works including some notable figures like Picasso, Gaughin, and Lautrec. Dogs are beloved by many artists and art lovers for their connotation with fidelity, loyalty, and companionship. But more than that in these more recent interpretations artists have redefined the dog in such a way that brings to mind humanity. In Rene Martucci’s ceramic piece, Pillow Dog, there is a certain way the resting dog’s eyes bring to mind a level of emotional communication generally associated with human psyche. It is as if a person was turned into dog and is expressing content with its new lifestyle. The wandering spirit of an explorer is expressed in Kanna Aoki’s painting, Me and My Shadow. The long narrow shadow stretches out dragging on to undiscovered places, hinting at adventure. Other pieces by Carmen Lang explore the joy shared by humans and dogs alike and the pieces only get more exciting.
This February The John Natsoulas Center for the Arts welcomes the return of the fifth annual dog show, Bark! honoring human’s best friend. The show features larger than life depictions of two and three-dimensional dogs in every medium, making the show the most diverse exhibition of dog imagery in the country. Pieces created out of glass, clay, wood, oil paint, ceramic, assemblage, multi-medium, wax, metal, bronze, and integrated art forms are all included within the show.
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