Dog-inspired Scottsdale ArtWalk now an annual event

Apr 8, 2014

Phoenix 12 News |


SCOTTSDALE, AZ - In the dog days of summer, a few galleries in Scottsdale hosted a canine-themed ArtWalk. It proved so successful, the Scottsdale Gallery Association is running with the dog theme again, making it an annual event.

The first official Bone Appetit ArtWalk is Thursday, April 10, in the Scottsdale Arts District showcasing pet portraits and photos, free dog treats and a fido-friendly musical lineup.

Jackie Roliardi, a gallery association representative, said the limited dog ArtWalk during summer gave the slow season a bump and introduced the uninitiated to the Scottsdale art scene.

"We had people who might not otherwise have come to a Scottsdale ArtWalk," Roliardi said. "People really responded. It invites people and their pets into the galleries to have a great experience and we believe once they're in, they'll come back."

Tilt Gallery is offering free dog Polaroids. Touchstone Galleries is partnering with The Fetch Foundation, which aids animals that were victims of an emergency. Scottsdale firefighters will attend with a fire engine. And among the entertainment is Irish dulcimer musician Jake Jacobs who will be accompanied by his dog Jasper.

Four-legged friends have always inspired On the Edge Gallery's artist Kelly Bowman. Her animal portraits pop with color and after participating in the August dog-themed ArtWalk, Bowman said she realized canines and canvas complement one another.

"It was so apparent, even by other people who work at the gallery, that when we had the first dog walk the energy came alive —even in August," said Bowman.

Kelly Bowman's "Cheers."
On the Edge Gallery's Kelly Bowman uses bright color to bring out a dog's personality such as the pooch in her work, "Cheers!" Bowman is one of the gallery's featured pet portrait artists and will be meeting art lovers and their dogs from 7 to 9 p.m. at the gallery, 7050 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale.(Photo: Kelly Bowman)
Bowman said she visited with pet lovers who came as far away as Buckeye and even garnered a commission to paint two Labradors.

The self-trained Phoenix acrylic painter uses contrasting vibrant colors to pull people into her work and to capture a dog's personality. Many of her commissions come via e-mail with a picture of the dog. Still, the pet's quirks, playfulness, tenderness or soulfulness comes through the owner's description in the e-mail.

"They get so animated when telling me about their pet," she said. "And then when I look at the picture, the colors just jump out at me. Sometimes I wake up at night seeing the colors in my sleep."

Bowman has her golden retrievers Tux and Rodney to keep her company in her home studio. When they think she's painted long enough they stare her down or Rodney nudges her, sometimes messing up a work.

"But you know, sometimes it's good to take a step back and take a break," she said.

Bowman said the Bone Appetit ArtWalk promises to do the same for visitors.

"Ten years ago, people didn't bring their dogs everywhere like they do now," she said. "This ArtWalk gives us a great opportunity to bring arts and everyone who loves dog together to just have some fun."

Bone Appetit ArtWalk

What: Scottsdale Gallery Association's first Bone Appetit ArtWalk, in which Scottsdale galleries open their doors to four-legged companions with artist demonstrations, dog treats and music.

When: 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday, April 10.

Where: Scottsdale Arts District, which extends along Main Street west of Scottsdale Road and on Marshall Way north of Indian School Road to Fifth Avenue.


Cost: Free

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