From hyper-realistic paintings of four-legged creatures to whimsical sculptures of animals, art from all over the world has been flown into Baton Rouge for the International Exhibition on Animals in Art.
“Animals in Art” debuts Saturday and will remain open to the public through April 19. The opening reception and awards presentation will be Saturday from 6-8 p.m. The exhibit is located in the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine library and is open during the library’s hours.
The show, which is more than 10 years old, is put on by the veterinary school in collaboration with the University’s School of Art, said Ginger Guttner, the school’s director of public relations. The show takes entries from all over the world and received more than 300 submissions this year.
Entries come from 38 states, Canada and Israel. While there are no monetary prizes, getting accepted into the show is an honor, Guttner said.
“There’s almost 400 pieces entered, and we only took 75,” Guttner said. “That in itself is something they’ll put on their resume.”
Awards include a best of show, a judge’s award and an honorable mention. Additionally, the editor-in-chief of the American Veterinary Medical Association will pick a piece to go on the cover of the AVMA Journal and the
Veterinary School will pick a piece to possibly go on their holiday card, as well as a piece to appear on the course catalogue, Guttner said.
Any medium other than film and audio is accepted. Artists must be at least 18. Their work must be original, and it must be priced. Of the pieces sold, the Veterinary School gets a 20 percent commission, which goes toward the hospital’s wildlife program, crates, gloves and journals, among other things.
“We tend to use it for those areas that don’t necessarily have a dedicated revenue strain,” Guttner said.
Artist and gallery assistant Jonathan Mayers was the judge-juror of the show, taking four days to go through all the submissions. Mayers said he would spend at least three hours each day, if not more, going through entries.
“There’s a lot of good things coming in, and, sometimes, you second-guess yourself,” Mayers said. “But going back and reviewing things, I think I made the best choices for the show.”
Artist Charlotte Huntley, who has submitted entries to the show for years, has a piece in this year’s exhibit titled “It’s All Relative.” The work depicts a baboon who is holding a baboon skull it possibly recognizes as belonging to a family member, Huntley said. She said she hopes viewers realize that animals are very much like humans.
“I think it might remind people that they’re not the only ones that love,” Huntley said.
Mayers said he looked for works that had energy and life in them, and that he enjoyed pieces with human elements applied to animals.
The variety of art in the show will allow viewers to find at least one piece that speaks to them, Mayers said, and he hopes they connect with the humanity in some of the pieces.
“Whether or not they have a specific mind-set on what style of art they like, they will possibly find one in there for them,” Mayers said. “I hope they leave with a smile on their face.”