Animal Rescue Art Show | Teaching

Animal Rescue Art Show | Teaching "Art Making For Others"

Hi friends, I wanted to share a blog post about a project I did several times over the last few years that I still receive questions about. It is a community service project that I called "Project Sketch & Fetch" that I created not long after rescuing my sweet lab mix, Maddie. As an art teacher I know it is my job to teach the fundamentals regarding the elements of art and what not, but when I have an opportunity to teach from my heart, and engage my students in a lesson that will make them better people, there is just nothing that compares. So I came up with the idea of having my art club students each choose an animal from a local shelter to use as the subject of a painting. I didn't know where this project would lead at the time, but to say I still beam with pride when I think back on it, is an understatement. Below is a  blog post from when I first created the project on my old website that I wanted to re-share here. I hope that you find inspiration from the hard work and love of my students and will give it a shot with your own. 


Throwback blog post from spring 2017 

animal shelter art project

You GUYS. My amazing art guild and community art students participated in one of the most rewarding, exciting, and beautiful projects I have ever been apart of. We named it "Project Sketch and Fetch" because that was our objective. To draw and paint an animal from a local shelter to help them be "fetched" up and adopted to a forever home. 

There art countless benefits to creating art. Sometimes it's more for yourself, sometimes it's meant to be shared with others, and other times it can be used to do something positive and meaningful in the world. That was our goal in this community outreach project. Each one of my 30 art club students selected an animal from a local animal shelter in Charleston, either from Pet Helpers, or The Charleston Animal Society to be the star subject for their own painting. We focused on older dogs and cats that have been in the shelters the longest, because unlike puppies and kittens, older animals are the last to be adopted and they could use a little extra help in finding a "forever home".

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After each child selected their animal, they began sketching them out and then dividing their subjects into simplified sections for their painting. We used the amazingly talented artist Heather Galler, as our inspiration for the style of our paintings, and the students absolutely loved painting in fun bright colors and bold eye catching patterns! After months of painting their adoptable animals, we had an art show at Pet Helpers to bring in members of the community to see the art but more importantly, the animals! Each painting was available for sale, for a $25 minimum donation, and we are THRILLED to say that every single painting sold, raising almost $800 for Pet Helpers! 

animal shelter art project   

final paintings for animal shelter

animal shelter art show  

animal shelter art project news promotion for animal shelter project    Project Sketch and Fetch art show  

I could not be more proud of my students for using their talents to do something positive in this world, and help out an innocent animal that doesn't have a voice of their own. Thank you to ABC News 4 for allowing me to come to your news station to help promote our event and of course all of the fabulous people at Pet Helpers for being such an amazing partner in this event. We are hoping for many more years of collaboration to come! 

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  • I’m glad to see this featured again, bringing the idea back for more people to be inspired! I think I’ve commented somewhere on your social medi, or asked about this. For anyone looking to do their own, contact the local shelters and see if they can collaborate! Ours runs this program, 2023 being the 10th year
    Via the MDSPCA in Baltimore.
    Thank you for the continuous inspiration!

  • I love this. I am animal lover myself. I would love to do this with my students. I have K-4. Any recommendations for how to do this with younger students?


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