Painterly image of a bubble fountain

Secret Fountain by Julia Springer

Since the dawn of time ( … or thereabouts!) the importance of the human animal bond has been recognized. When I was at vet school I got involved with SCAS – the Society for Companion Animal Studies – and I have been interested in assistance dogs ever since.  So I was particularly excited when I heard about an upcoming art show dedicated to raising money to help provide assistance dogs to families with autistic children!

Call for artists!

Boxed In will be held in Wayne, NJ, on Sunday, September 29 and will feature artwork donated by artists from across the US and beyond!  If you are an artist or photographer, you may want to consider donating a piece – or even ten – to this worthy cause.  Prizes are to be had, based on the pre-show voting of a public jury, but that is certainly not the main purpose of participating …

Paula Shaughnessy has taken on the daunting task of gathering the pictures and organizing the event.  She has set herself a target of 1000 entries, so I know she needs all the help she can get!  All entries will be sold at affordable prices based on size during the afternoon of the show, with a portion of the proceeds going to Sam’s Voice.

Sam’s family were the recipients of Hagrid, a yellow Labrador retriever, in 2012 and the impact that he has had, not just on Sam, but on his entire family is truly heart-warming!  Hagrid was gifted to the family by the Heeling Autism program of Guiding Eyes for the Blind.  In gratitude they have started a website promoting Autism Awareness and raising funds for Heeling Autism.

Whilst guide dogs for the blind require an independent streak to their personality (after all, they have to make that final decision to cross the road), some dogs prefer to follow rather than lead; these dogs are often well-suited to assisting in families with autistic children.  In such families the dog can relax as the parent, or other responsible adult, is ultimately in charge!  The role of the dog is to act as a companion, and to prevent the ever-present danger of the child running into traffic or other hazardous situations.  Read more about the Heeling Autism program here.

I have donated a 16 inch stretched canvas of my Secret Fountain image to the show; the canvas was produced and drop-shipped direct to Paula by CG Pro Prints.  I had watched a stunning review of their work on SLR Lounge, but was still slightly nervous about using them without having seen their work before; to my delight Paula tells me that the quality of the canvas is excellent.  Thanks Paula for the photograph, taken upon receipt.  The only stipulations regarding submissions are that they must be original to the artist, family-friendly, no larger than 24 x 24 inches, and in a format that is ready-to-hang.  Oh, and no pieces will be returned – although you may choose to attend the show in person and buy your work back!

How often do you get the chance to help “heel”  a family by just doing what you love?  

Not an artist?  You can still help this wonderful cause – just follow the links in this post to work out how you can help.  

Connect with Paula and with Sam’s Voice on Facebook too.