If you plan on visiting Aventura Mall soon, don’t be surprised when you run into an indoor park complete with life-size dog and cat sculptures.
From a Labrador painted with the smiling faces of Haitian children and a white Shih Tzu with angel wings to a Chihuahua covered in $100 bills and a cigar stuck in its mouth, there is no lack of creativity at the “Paws for Art” exhibit.
After two years in the making, the display opened at Aventura Mall last Thursday and will continue for one week with the goal of making art accessible to the community, as well as to provide financial support to the Founding Fosters Care Fund, a program that supports foster-care of dogs and cats at the Humane Society of Greater Miami.
The proceeds from the purchased sculptures will help pet fosterers — people who take care of dogs and cats from the Soffer and Fine Adoption Center in North Miami Beach until the pets are permanently adopted — to cover the medical and food costs for the pets.
Bella Goldstein, founder and chairwoman of Founding Fosters Care Fund, said that before the exhibit opened, about eight sculptures were already sold, bringing $5,000 back to the foster-care program. A total of about 50 sculptures will be on display at Aventura Mall, all done for free by South Florida-based artists.
“It’s just an ‘ahhh’ moment when you see the sculptures,” Goldstein told The Miami Herald. “Some of them are real life-like, and some of them are a rendition of art.”
“I wanted to do something that would make people smile,” said Clara Poupel, exhibit curator and creative director. “Even if they don’t buy it, maybe going home they would want to create. “
About five of Poupel’s sculptures will be included in Paws for Art, including a life-size black Labrador whose front-right paw is inside a bucket of red and orange paint that is spattered all over him.
“He looks like he is splattering paint, trying to create something. He looks like the kind of dog you would want to have to play with and run on the beach with,” said Poupel. “This exhibit is a great opportunity to show that art is important to the community and to bring art to the people.”
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