Featured Artist: Sarah Thornton

December 1, 2011  

Artist Sarah Thornton of Lintu Art shares how art can help change perceptions about dogs

Q: Can you tell StubbyDog readers about the inspiration behind your art?

A: My inspiration to create dog-centric art came from walking Marilyn, my Shar Pei, around Lake Harriet during the summer of 2008. It led me to start my “Dogs around the Lakes” events. Volunteering with A Rotta Love Plus and adopting George, my pit bull, were also influencing factors. Each year I’m involved in the organization of the art show “Deviant Art: Dispelling Myths.” The goals of Deviant Art are to spark conversation about “deviant” breeds and to highlight the programs A Rotta Love Plus presents to re-home dogs and re-educate people.

Q: Why did you start Deviant Art?

A: Deviant Art was created after a failed attempt to adopt a pit bull. I was renting at the time and my landlord would not allow the addition to our dog family because of the breed. I was a newbie to the stereotypes surrounding pit bulls, and looking back, I am thankful now that I was forced to get deeply involved in order to adopt George. A Rotta Love Plus was given to me as a resource for finding more information about the dogs. I was impressed by their involvement in the community and the discussions happening on the forum. I met with the leaders of the group, offered up my idea of an art show focused on the stereotypes, and the show emerged as a collaboration between their talented volunteers and leaders, and me as an artist and event organizer. My goal for the show was to spur conversations. With dogs at the event, it also provided a chance for people to meet a pit bull for the first time.

Q: Please share with us a little about your background.

A: I studied vertebrate biology and engineering. This helped me understand all the structure underneath the skin. As both people and dogs are social animals, I find it interesting to observe the connections between them. These connections inspire me to express the bond between person and dog through artwork, celebrating the uniqueness in each subject, exploring artwork beyond realism. To keep exploration fresh, I can choose to work in several mediums, such as oil and acrylic paint, oil and soft pastel, ink, graphite, photography and colored pencil.

Q: Where can we see your work?

A: My work has been featured in local galleries and publications. My studio in the Northrup King Building is always open for private tours or to share for a painting session. Two of my three dogs are pit bull blends, and I am happy whenever my work can boost programs to spread the good word about them. Love your dog for they will repay you a thousand times over.

To learn more about Sarah’s work, visit Lintu Art.

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