Some of our favorite performers revealed their lesser known talents for art and design when they contributed to a pack of artful fiber-glass Labradors auctioned off by Aspen FilmFest. Salma Hayek, Angelica Huston, Kevin Costner, and Nick Lachey, as well as a host of other celebrities, all contributed to FilmFest’s education efforts with their own personalized pups. These Best-In-Show Labradors premiered in June and were auctioned off live in August or online in September and October.
Aspen loves dogs and dog-lovers love Aspen. The city boasts dog-friendly outdoor trails, a pedestrian mall where most stores welcome canines, and even a rent-a-pet program at DogsAspen shelter where visitors can play with a shelter animal for the day when they can’t have their pets with them. FilmFest’s board director, Frank Welfield, chose Labradors because of Aspen’s dog-friendly nature and its preference for Labradors. The molds were designed by and ordered from Cowpainters, of Chicago, a company which specializes in animal molds for public art programs.
The funds raised, nearly $130,000, benefited Aspen FilmFest’s Education Outreach Program. The program reaches 5,000 children and adults and 19 schools annually and is geared towards increasing the otherwise limited local access to film and film education. FilmFest’s Education Outreach offers “educational programs that cultivate essential visual literacy and critical viewing skills and enhance appreciation of film as an artistic medium capable of opening windows on the world and building bridges between cultures.” Maybe film can build bridges between humans and animals too!