Marie Mason’s paintings often include a red dog. Winthrop Handy’s White Dog Gallery sells a piece called white dog. And, George Rodrigue’s paintings always include the infamous blue dog.
What do these three American artist have in common? Philanthropic and patriotic giving. Missouri-based Mason, Massachusetts-based Handy and California-based Rodrigue use their artwork to raise funds for diverse causes, including the American Red Cross, Humane Societies and Assistance Dog Groups.
Rodrigue responded to the World Trade Center tragedy by selling a commemorative painting titled God Bless America (www.bluedogart.com). His Cajun-style painting sold 500 paintings at $500 the first week following the attack.
Mason is responding to the plight of 12 million homeless animals through her Dog Star Project in the Midwest (www.bellacompany.com/rescue). Mason creates color-rich, metaphorical paintings of shelter animals monthly, which are displayed at area galleries to increase awareness, animal adoptions and shelter donations.
Handy, who photographs animal celebs like Morris the cat and as many as 33 animals at a time, gives a percent of his gallery’s sales (www.naturegallery.com) to National Education for Assistance Dog Service.
Kelly Kuhn, who carries Mason’s work exclusively at the Blue Gallery, an up-and-coming gallery in Kansas City, Missouri’s hip Crossroad District, says power to the people through art.
“Artist and art patrons are passionate people who can’t help but respond to our society’s imbalances and tragedies,” says Kuhn (www.bluegalleryonline.com). “Maybe those who don’t support the arts will support the artists who hold together the delicate social threads of our communities.”