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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment August 18, 2017

8/4/2009 12:50:00 PM
Art show kicks off with reception
Brian Vegter with his dog Zephyr in “The Red Tape of Adoption.
Brian Vegter with his dog Zephyr in “The Red Tape of Adoption." photo by Oenta Gentry

Dog lovers gathered at Sisters Art Works last Saturday to celebrate their canine friends in the opening of the Dog Days art show.

Kathy Deggendorfer, owner of Sisters Art Works and sponsor of the event, made it a family affair. Husband Frank served the treats with the help of daughter, Erin Borla. Her sister, Sally Bany, owner of Moonstruck Chocolate Company provided some of the treats and Bany's daughter Rachel helped serve them.

"The whole event was the result of the stew of Sisters Art Works. We all put our heads together. Like a pinball effect," Deggendorfer said.

The crowd gathered and most stayed for the full three hours of the show.

Marci Jordan, of Camp Sherman, who came with her husband Dan said, "I loved the whimsical part of it. But the best part is that part of the proceeds go to Furry Friends."

Furry Friends provides pet food to families in need in the Sisters area.

Many of the artists were creating art with a dog theme for the first time in their careers.

Deborah Sether has created ceramics for 30 years and clay sculpture for eight years.

"Dogs are a new direction for me," she said. "Kathy asked me to be a part of the show, so I jumped at the opportunity. Bill Erhardt made the plates (on display in the main entry). All the painters came to my studio to decorate them. In glazing, all the colors don't always come out, so the painters were outside their comfort zones."

Sether said she had to learn some new techniques to support the heavy body of the dogs so they wouldn't collapse during firing.

Abstract landscape artist Patrick Ryan Huff had never painted dogs before, but joined in because artist John Simpkins, curator for the event, asked him to do it for the show. Artist Paul Alan Bennett mused to Ryan:

"It's like you cut them in pieces and put them back together. Jumps in their placement makes them very interesting."

Bennett contributed a plate he called "Darwin's Basset Hound."

"Darwin's ship was called The Beagle, so instead of a beagle, it's a basset hound," he said.

In contrast, all of Brian Vegter's works are for the dogs. Vegter, who was featured on Animal Planet, does nothing but dog portraits. His relationship with dogs started quite naturally with his own. At 24 he adopted his first dog, Fairmont, when he was on vacation. Ten years later he started painting.

"I used to do video production, but I wasn't getting paid as well in New York as in Chicago. I started going to the dog park and sketching dogs. People in the park started noticing my work and commissioned me to do portraits of their dogs," he said.

Vegter's wife, Corrine, like her husband, became disenchanted with her day job and decided to pursue her passion: creating pottery. Her pieces include necklaces as well as plates. Some are in collaboration with Vegter's art. Corrine modeled an ivory colored clay necklace sporting an image of a dog created by Brian.

Dog Days art is on display until August 31 at 204 W. Adams Ave.

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