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Pooch Picassos provide works for art auction

November 14, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Many of the patrons attending Saturday night's Bassetpolitan Gallery of Art auction at Cortland Mansion didn't recognize each other at first.

"I'm not used to seeing these people without dogs all around them," said Diane Morgan, a charter member of Basset Rescue of Old Dominion (BROOD), which benefited from the auction of art created by more than 40 dogs and a few humans, too.

When the final bid was accepted, between $4,000 and $4,200 was raised, according to organizer Shirley Mueller of BROOD.

"We did a similar affair in Pittsburgh, Pa., where I live, and I wanted to do one for Basset Rescue in Washington County," she said.

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Mueller brought up the idea to several women in the group several months ago and it caught on. Rheeanna Benner and her sister, Mary Reifel, of Brocroft Kennels in Smithsburg, volunteered their location for the actual creation of the art in late summer.

"Some was made by dog ears, some with tails and some with feet," Mueller said. "There was one made with a schnauzer's beard and several where the dog's whole face is featured."

In a few cases, some of the dogs even rolled in paint for their creations. After their "performance art," the dogs were cleaned up in a small wading pool nearby, Mueller said.

The artwork then was matted and framed by BROOD members and readied for silent auction bids Saturday night. Mueller said the only real expense was for the paint and the paper - nearly everything else was donated, including the use of Cortland Mansion and the wine and cheese served during the evening by Palate Pleasers.

In addition to the funds raised through the auction, tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door. More than 30 people were checking out the artwork shortly after the 7 p.m. event got under way.

Jane Jones, an artist from Thurmont, Md., arranged a number of baskets that also were available for bidding.

Barbara Baumann, who operates a business in Damascus, Md., called Dopey Dog Art, said she had a number of on-line bids for some of the pieces, long before the actual auction began.

Bryan Prindiville, who pens a comic strip called Bassetville, also attended and contributed signed copies of his strip logo for sale for the cause.

In front of each dog creation was an explanation of how the art was achieved, the dog's name and a small picture of the actual work as it was being painted last summer.

Basset Rescue of Old Dominion works to provide good homes for the breed and to keep owners in touch with each other for the betterment of the dogs.

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