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Paw Print

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For a tug at your heartstrings and to help a great cause, stop by WaterWorks Thursday between 6 and 8 p.m., when FM 100's Ron Olson will auction work by more than 40 local artists to benefit the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County.

Titled "Paws for Art," this inaugural event also includes food and wine, but the stars of the evening are the acrylics, oils, and paper collages depicting domesticated pets, such as dogs and cats, along with more untamed animal friends, such as birds and elephants. Each painting was created on an 18- by 24-inch canvas donated by the Art Center in Midtown, and all proceeds from the event will help fund the housing, feeding, and medical treatment of abused animals.

While some of the paintings were inspired by the artists' own pets, others tell of animals lost, abandoned, or waiting for adoption, explains Peggy Foster, the organization's assistant development officer. Three Ally Cats Hoping To Be Adopted by Helen Ingoglia was inspired by the artist's interaction with feral kittens, Foster says. One kitten was beautiful but aloof. The other was mangy but sociable. "The artist spent her time trying to catch the cute cat, even though the mangy one was more friendly," Foster says. "She always felt bad that she tried to help the cute kitten instead of the ugly one."

Taking a different tack, Lost in Translation by Jan Hankins looks into the future, imagining how a dog might be hurt by the radioactivity released by Japan's crippled nuclear reactors. (Clue: The dog has two heads.)

"I can't stop thinking about all of this artwork," Foster says. "Quite a few of the pieces are absolutely fabulous, so there will be a bidding war, I'm sure."

Tickets for the auction and reception are $25 and can be purchased online at memphishumane.org or at the door.

"Paws for Art," Thursday, May 26th, 6 to 8 p.m., at WaterWorks, 741 S. Cox.

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