Matt Long decided to go big and bold to help the Humane Society of Washington County celebrates its 100th anniversary.
His brilliant “Sparky Party” statue of a sitting dog, one of 12 winners of the Centennial Paws for a Cause statues design competition, was hard to miss as the top dogs unveiled their works on Wednesday at the company headquarters on Maugansville Road near Hagerstown.
“My colors are fun and vibrant, and I kind of wanted to stick with that party energy,” said multimedia artist and graphic designer from Frederick, Md. “So we have a puppy party.
“And it’s the biggest sculpture here, so I had to make a statement, a funny statement.”
He has lent his talents to local events in the past, having also created the official poster for the Western Maryland Blues Fest 2014.
Dog lover, Long said it was fun working with the lines of the 36-inch tall fiberglass figure.
“I have always been an animal lover and a fan of human society and the work they do in the community, so I was truly happy and honored to make a creative contribution to a good cause,” said Long.
Colin A. Beery, executive director of the company, said the winners will be displayed at sponsoring companies for six weeks before the Centennial Gala on Nov. 13 in Maryland Theater in downtown Hagerstown, where they will be auctioned off.
“We will be posting a map to help people find each of the statues at the sponsoring companies,” she told the winning artists and visitors at the unveiling. “It will be a really fun way to bring people out, not only to thank the sponsors, but also to see your hard work.”
The winners received gift cards of $ 100 to Howard Art and Frames in Hagerstown, which sponsored the competition.
Crystal Trovinger’s “Candy Craze” dachshund is decorated with images of 60 different kinds of candy, inspired by her candy-loving children, Owen, 10, and Vivie, 9.
“I love to see it come together and come to life, create something beautiful out of nothing,” she said.
The Hagerstown resident has a home dachshund named Sassy, as well as a Labrador retriever-basset hound mix named Roscoe, as well as three turtles.
“I love giving back to the community, and if it has to do with animals, I’m here,” she said.
The treat theme continued on the display table she shared with Karen Poston, a cake decorator whose blue and white “Wedgewood” cat was inspired by the simple colors of Wedgewood pottery and intricate patterns of piped cakes.
The white substance that looks like piped icing covering her deep blue body in a lace pattern is actually a common building material that is painstakingly applied a little at a time every night for a week.
“I put caulk in a piping bag and poured it like a cake,” said the Hagerstown resident and the Humane Society’s data and technical manager. “It took a long time to do, but it was fun.”
Lesley Whalley’s ‘Love in All Its Forms’ Bulldog is Covered Head to Paw with Colorful Expressions of Love and Encouragement for the Humanitarian Society’s 100th Anniversary and Mission to Find Animal Homes of company.
She said she chose the theme because some people don’t think bulldogs or rescue dogs are attractive.
“But they still love you and you love them, and that’s unconditional,” said the Hagerstown-based abstract artist. “I think they make everyone feel better, and a house isn’t a house without animals, is it?
“I just wanted to share the love and support what they are doing here because we are very lucky to have such a great human society.”
Centenary celebration:Dog and cat statues decorated to add style to the Humane Society’s centenary
“Feline Elegance” by Terry Pitt is a silvery cat adorned with genuine precious and semi-precious stones, sterling silver, crystals, pearls and pieces of costume jewelry.
A professional chef, Pitt collects vintage jewelry and reuses some to make his creation shine.
“I just wanted to recycle them, put them on a completely different medium and let them tell their own story,” she said.
The Hagerstown resident is also an animal lover.
“And this place is amazing,” she said.
The blue cat “Koi Paw-nd” decorated with koi fish and lotus flowers was inspired by artist Morgan Flick’s love for Japanese culture, according to the panel accompanying the work.
Koi fish are seen as symbols of love and friendship, and cats symbolize luck and blessings, he said.
“Knowing that my cat would be on display somewhere, I wanted to make sure that wherever he went he brought with him feelings of love and luck,” Flick wrote.
The sign indicated that the lotus flowers had been added to brighten it up as well as to symbolize the inner peace needed in uncertain times.
“Whenever I do art my goal is just to make someone smile,” Flick wrote. “I hope my artwork has done this for you today and that you will never forget to explore your creative side.”