PintoArt

Maxine Weber, volunteer and guest blogger, shares her thoughtful and often humorous observations from inside the WDC.

Did you ever pass by some good street art and wonder who drew it? One of the more famous British street artists goes by the name of Banksy. Although his works show up in public spaces, many experts in the art world do not considered it graffiti. The images Banksy paints are technically refined and have a point of view that is a social commentary on the specific location where the art appears. Critically acclaimed and a trend setter, Banksy’s works have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the genre of street art is both intensely public and intensely private. The artist tags walls that are as visible to as many people as possible. Often the goal can be to get people to stop and think about what is happening at that moment at that location. But as public as the art is, often the artist is unknown by the majority of people who are viewing the work. Other than his agent and probably some friends, no one knows the true identity of Banksy. Think about it – there could be a great artist in your midst and you would not even know about it.

Not to be outdone by the London street scene, the Working Dog Center has its own Banksy. Sometime in the fall, beautifully hand-drawn pictures of the Center’s dogs started showing up on our white boards, where trainers mark which activity each dog did that day. Next to Sirius’s name was a drawing of Sirius, artistically done with dry-erase marker. Then I came in right before Halloween and saw that our plain little pumpkin bore the image of a running dog. On the dry-erase board outside of Rookie’s crate, was a perfect replica of Rookie. Our secret artist was becoming more bold and the images were increasingly more detailed. And just this past week, several of the dogs had portraits done in charcoal, hanging on their individual update boards. I have an inkling who our Banksy is, but I won’t tell. It is more fun to embrace the element of surprise. And I thank our local Banksy for sharing her (or maybe his?) talents with us. Now, if we could only get one of those sketches to sell for thousands of dollars…

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