Dozens of colorful dog statues greeted patrons at the door of the Prairie Arts Center on Tuesday, May 14.

“Paws on the Platte,” is a fundraiser to benefit Paws-itive Partners Humane Society, a non-profit organization that supports pets and their humans.

The playfully posed statues are sponsored by 26 businesses and creatively enhanced by artists. Each unique dog features the artist’s vision come to life, using the statue as the canvas. Bright acrylic paints, metallics, collage and decoupage are some of the mediums used.

The wide variety is diverse and entertaining. Some are painted in pastels and others in neon colors. Some are embellished with butterflies, gems, mushrooms, rocks and feathers.  

“Each statue is turned into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece,” Paws-itive Partners president Jo Mayber said.  “Each dog has a story behind it.”

Later this summer, at Pals Brewing Company, the dogs will be auctioned with proceeds going to Paws-itive Partners. According to their website, the group came together in 1998 to promote responsible pet ownership. They provide financial assistance to spay and neuter hundreds of cats and dogs each year, and also helps with emergency veterinary needs, care for pets whose owners are suddenly affected by an out-of-home medical crisis, and help pets in foster/adopt situations. 

Tara Lienemann of the PAC says community response to the exhibit has been very good.

“People seem excited to come in and see the dogs,” she said. “It’s a fun exhibit, there is something that will appeal to all ages.”

North Platte artist Sue Perez decorated the statue sponsored by Tender Hearts Veterinary Center. Perez named him “Murphy,” painted him with acrylics and decoupaged with decorative paper.

Perez, an artist for 24 years, said she is glad to be a part of the exhibit because it benefits a worthy cause.

“Animal support organizations have always been close to my heart,” she said. “I have a strong connection to my spirit animals, I don’t choose them, they choose me.”

The canine-themed exhibit moves to Great Plains Health on May 25. Until then, they are at the PAC, in addition to three shows currently running through May. “My Best Friend,” Perez’s “Spirit Animals,” and “The Art of Food” may be viewed at the PAC, 416 N. Jeffers, Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Below: Photos and video by Teressa Sykora:

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