Along one art packed wall of Tangled Up In Hue, quite a few hand-drawn and painted dog faces peer out from their canvases at passersby, begging to be taken home.
Tangled Up In Hue has partnered with Bob’s House for Dogs for the fourth year in a row to raise money for the shelter’s dogs, all of which are seniors. The store features canine art by several local artists with at least 35 percent of each piece going back to Bob’s.
Last year, the store raised over $1,000 for the dogs in raffle ticket sales alone. This year, there were many products on display, ranging from paintings and graphic art to stained glass paw prints and screen-printed tee shirts, which sold out. The store will accept entries for each raffle prize until the show closes at the end of this month.
Erin Klaus, owner of Tangled Up in Hue and two rescue dogs, said she believes this cause is an important one.
“There’s obviously a need – we know this,” Klaus said. “Shelters need so much. The people who work for these shelters are volunteers and it is a full-time job, if not more than that. ”
Klaus said she loves to see the joy this event brings to customers who want to support the cause. She said this display will start a conversation among people about how they can help if they are unable to do so financially.
Klaus said the idea of having the Dog Art Show to support an animal shelter came up four years ago with her friend Brian Duerkop – Clancy’s bartender, local artist and animal lover. Because he is passionate about animals, he and Klaus discussed the prospect of raising money to donate to a shelter through her store.
Thus, the annual Dog Art Show was born. Klaus said Duerkop is still a major part of running the event each year, coordinating with Bob’s House for Dogs and other animal shelters, to which the proceeds are donated.
On the night of the event reception, the store featured a dog caricature artist, a new addition this year. Visitors could bring their dogs or photos of their dogs for the artist to reference. Klaus said the event was unbelievably successful, with a line of customers trailing out the door.
In the future, Klaus hopes to introduce more fundraising events for other non-profit organizations. She said her experience with the Dog Art Show has shown her that combining charity with the sale of artwork is relatively simple, which makes her more eager to combine the two in new ways.
Maddi Herzfeld, a senior communication sciences and disorders student, is an artist featured in the show. She expressed herself through three acrylic paintings of dogs from emBARK, a dog day care center in Eau Claire.
Herzfeld said she likes using vibrant colors and contrast to make certain features of her paintings pop, and this is apparent in her dog paintings as they have brightly-colored backgrounds. She considers it a trademark of her artistic style.
Although this was the first art show Herzfeld has participated in, she has been painting since she was little. She said she’s looking forward to showing her art more and she believes others should as well.
“I think if people do have art, they should never be afraid to put it out there,” Herzfeld said. “They should seek opportunities like this to do something for the community because it’s a good thing; it’s fun to be a part of.”
The Dog Art show will continue at Tangled Up in Hue through Oct. 31. Next month, the store will also sell puppy paw ornaments to raise money for the Eau Claire County Humane Association.