|Night light Playful Nehama|
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing artist, Mark Barone, about his very special project, a Museum of Compassion. What follows is my Question and Answer interview so you can read about it in his own words.
1. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START AN ACT OF DOG AND THE MUSEUM OF COMPASSION?
A: Upon seeing the chilling numbers of shelter animals being killed every day and the archaic shelter system we're operating with people's tax dollars, (when successful and compassionate alternatives are available), and the lack of education on animal parenting and solutions for being a lifetime guardian, there was no way we could turn away and do nothing, so we decided to paint the approximate number of dogs being killed everyday and use the power of art to illustrate where we are at as a nation, with regards to our compassion for animals, and let the power of art, with the science of compassion, and the heart of philanthropy, be the catalyst for change.
2. WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR THE MUSEUM AND THIS SPECIFIC ARTWORK?
A: Imagine walking the "Wall of Compassion" and feeling the impact of 5500 portraits of shelter dogs, spanning 2 football fields long and 10 ft high!
Education is the bridge to compassion, and if we are to help our children navigate the world outside with tolerance, compassion and acceptance, then we must educate their hearts and minds to produce socially and emotionally aware adults, who understand that compassion is not a luxury, but a necessity for our survival.
The "Museum of Compassion" is being designed to illuminate, educate and lift our animal welfare consciousness to new heights.
|Night light Handsome Pete|
This poignant exhibit and educational platform (that's larger than the Sistine Chapel) will be a powerful bridge to compassion, inspiring nationwide transformation and the salvation of our animals. The main wall will consist of 5500, 12"x12" portraits and referred to as the "Wall of Compassion." Even though they are individual portraits, they are considered one body of work and one main statement, telling of their collective fate and our state of consciousness. In addition, there will be an educational wall of 10, 8x8ft portraits, that will represent other areas of companion animal abuse and shelter excuses, such as: dog fighting, puppy mills, animal abuse, cats, temperament testing, breed specific legislation, killing for space, legislation for rescue's to have access and prevent needless deaths, shelter negligence, and animal testing, and the pro-active solutions.
The museum will educate children in how to use art for social change and get them engaged in helping to cultivate a more compassionate generation. There will be speakers from around the world, sharing insights and strategies for compassion, and beautiful products to generate a forever fund for the animals.
4. HOW DID THE PBS SPECIAL COME ABOUT?
A: We spoke with the filmmakers at Sagacity productions, specifically Bonnie Silva, and she really connected to our own personal story and what it took to give up everything to do this, and she shared it with PBS, and they loved the idea and wanted to partner with her immediately to create a documentary about our journey and the project itself.
|Night light Loyal Bubba|
5. Q: IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THAT YOU'D LIKE TO SAY?
A: The extraordinary level of compassion and commitment that we have witnessed from the thousands of rescue groups, fosters, volunteers and transporters, has blown us away! These people have no real support, yet they stay on the frontlines everyday, saving animals lives. They are the only life line for these animals, and we are looking forward to being in a position to help provide all the resources they need to continue their great work and eliminate the additional stress that is created by having to raise the money to do it.
Never be silent in the face of suffering. We are all part of the problem, if we are not actively engaged in being part of the solution. Do something, because you care and because you can.
|An Act of Dog|
Please visit Mark Barone's website: http://anactofdog.org
Watch the trailer for the PBS Special here: http://anactofdog.org/pages/pbs-documentary
|Mark in front of Big Paintings|
I'm very grateful to Mark Barone for this interview and for everything his is doing to shine a very special light on the fate of too many shelter dogs.