This February, the John Natsoulas Center for the Arts is proud to welcome back the one of a kind group show, Bark, celebrating human's best friend with work from over forty national artists. Works in every medium, from paint to sculpture, will be included in this tribute to the bond between human kind and canine.
The John Natsoulas Center for the Arts has a long history of working with imagery surrounding dogs. This February, we will return to celebrate the canine companion by presenting the annual show Bark!: An Artistic View of Human’s Best Friend. The show, a tribute to Roy De Forest, the founder of the 1960’s funk movement, features artists; Esther Shimazu, Jeffrey Downing, Stephen Braun, Avery Palmer, Amber Aguirre, Rene Martucci, Pat Mahony, Robert Ransom and many more. Roy De Forest’s wonderful narrative Country Dog Gentleman, located at the SF MOMA, has become a great teaching icon for children and the community. De Forest’s works are full of life and joy flowing from his exciting use of color and his playful narratives. These fun paintings serve as inspiration for the investigation of the role of the dog in everyday life. From their role as saviors to their contagious happy faces, the delight shared between both dogs and humans is on display for all to share at Bark!
The John Natsoulas Center for the Arts is highly involved in the collaboration and advancement of the arts in Northern California. Bark! continues this relationship by honoring the historic and ongoing depiction of dogs within past and contemporary art. Dogs have a long history of being involved in art. Many artists have included dogs into their works including some notable figures like Picasso, Gaughin, and Lautrec. Dogs are beloved by many artists and art lovers for their connotation with fidelity, loyalty, and companionship. But more than that in these more recent interpretations artists have redefined the dog in such a way that brings to mind humanity. In Rene Martucci’s ceramic piece, Pillow Dog, there is a certain way the resting dog’s eyes bring to mind a level of emotional communication generally associated with human psyche. It is as if a person was turned into dog and is expressing content with its new lifestyle. The wandering spirit of an explorer is expressed in Kanna Aoki’s painting, Me and My Shadow. The long narrow shadow stretches out dragging on to undiscovered places, hinting at adventure. Other pieces by Carmen Lang explore the joy shared by humans and dogs alike and the pieces only get more exciting.
This February The John Natsoulas Center for the Arts welcomes the return of the fifth annual dog show, Bark! honoring human’s best friend. The show features larger than life depictions of two and three-dimensional dogs in every medium, making the show the most diverse exhibition of dog imagery in the country. Pieces created out of glass, clay, wood, oil paint, ceramic, assemblage, multi-medium, wax, metal, bronze, and integrated art forms are all included within the show.
The Center for the Arts has over three decades of experience featuring a variety of world-renowned works. The show’s opening will give patrons the opportunity to meet and hear from the artists of the show. Nowhere else will you find four generations of artist dedicated to the creation of dog imagery, ranging from the historic Joe Mariscal’s tribute to Pre-Columbian dogs to the contemporary over sized dog work by Jeff Downey. Annually, Bark! allows for artists and the community to connect over the universal appreciation for dogs and art alike.