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'DogShow: For the Love of Dogs'

New Harrington Gallery exhibit opens with reception Thursday

The Harrington Gallery at the Firehouse Arts Center opens its next major curated exhibit, "DogShow: For the Love of Dogs," with an artists' reception open to the public from 7-9 p.m. Thursday. Pieces will include a wide variety of media, including painting, sculpture, collage and textile arts, and will remain on view through July 21.

Harrington Gallery director and curator Julie Finegan noted that the exhibition title is self-explanatory in terms of the subject matter, and added, "There may some people, but no cats."

At the reception, special guest Melanie Sadek, executive director of Valley Humane Society, will make a short presentation about its programs. Certified therapy dogs and handlers will also be on hand to meet and greet guests although no personal pets are allowed. Suggested donation is $5.

The seven artists include Kaethe Bealer from Emeryville, who has shown several times at the Harrington; Marina Berlin from San Francisco, whose contribution will be a sculpture of a dog made from chicken wire; Kathleen Hill, a Livermore painter and Pleasanton Art League member, well known for her commissioned paintings of pets; and Lyudmila Kirillova, a Belmont painter who is new to the Harrington.

Also featured are William Rushton from San Jose, who has shown at the Harrington in both a figure and a landscape show, and also juried a previous Fresh Works show; and collage artist Kerri Warner from Sacramento, who is admired for her use of "unlikely materials." Rounding out the roster is Susan Else from Santa Cruz, who has shown with Studio Art Quilt Associates several times; her contribution will be a quilted dog stretching on a purple shag rug.

In conjunction with the exhibit, three events will be held:

* Art Demo: 1:30-3:30 p.m. June 20. Painting demonstration in the Harrington Gallery by Kathleen Hill, one of the show's artists. No reservation required, drop in any time during the session, $5 suggested donation.

* Young @ Art Class: 4:30-5:45 p.m. June 21. "Woof!" is an educational program for ages 5-11. They will visit the exhibit then create fun dog art in the upstairs studio. Cost is $15 for residents, $18 for non-residents. Register at Pleasantonfun.com; class code is 6938.

* Creative Writing: 4-5 p.m. July 12. Literary Arts Ambassador Meg Fleming will host a fun creative writing event open to kids ages 8-12 centered around canines. Suggested donation, $5.

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