The Big, Big Pet Portrait Show 2018

In the summer of 2018 we filled our walls from front to back and side to side, and the Artisan Nook too, with the Big, Big Pet Portrait Show. Artists painted portraits of pets, as in pet iguanas, puppies, peeves, rocks — whoever/whatever your pet may be.

Everyone was invited to participate!

Poster for Big Big Pet Portrait Exhibition

It’s as easy as 1-2-3

  1. Get a 12×12 Gallery-profile canvas
  2. Create a pet portrait – real pet/imaginary pet (if you’re allergic to cats you might have a pet dragon, right?)
  3. Bring it in! Deliver it to The Paint Spot any time from March 30 to June 13.

As soon as you’ve finished your work, send us a picture. Include your info – your name + your artwork’s title, medium, & price. We’ll add you to our social media. The sooner we get your image the more we can promote you! Gallery Stretched Canvas and Gallery Birch Panels are on sale for this project. (While supplies last).Questions? Ask us @ 780.432.0240

The exhibition ran from June 14 – August 16, 2018! (It will be up for the Whyte Avenue Art Walk July 6-8!)

Big, Big Pet Portrait Show
June 14 – August 16
The Paint Spot, 10032 81 Avenue

Who’s your fur baby?

The Big, Big Pet Portrait Show is an open invitation to you to capture your pet in paint – puppy, porpoise, or peeve (not all of them furry!). Display its portrait in the company of its peers. We began collecting and presenting the works that have been created for the show. So far, no fights have erupted between the cats and the dogs, we are glad to report.

Seriously, it is very clear from the portraits we’ve already received that pets bring out a lot of love in their owners/artists. Some of the portraits are elegiac, some comedic, but all of them are warm-hearted responses to the animals depicted. Even the pet fish from the backyard pond is obviously respected by its owner. Try painting a pet portrait yourself. You’ll see that your pet’s personality, and your own, are as important as the painterly skills you bring to the work. So, whether you are a complete novice, an amateur, an accomplished professional, or anywhere along the skill spectrum you are welcome to participate.

Rules for the Big, Big Pet Portrait Show are simple

The rules are simple. Paint a pet portrait on a 12×12” gallery profile canvas or birch panel and bring it in to The Paint Spot. Anyone can participate, and there is no entry fee. You can offer your painting for sale or keep it forever yourself. Many participants are creating a portrait of someone else’s pet to give to them as a keepsake.

Paper-based artists can mount their work on a panel. Watercolourists, marker artists, and those who prefer to draw are equally invited to show their fur friends, too.

What if art on paper isn’t your thing?

But wait! What if you are a sculptor? Sculpt a pet portrait and bring your sculpture in. We will be showing sculptures as well in the Artisan Nook, our small gallery space. There is already a wonderful bronze portrait of one artist’s dachshund, Ellie-Mae, in the show (we love to stroke its nose and ears).

Oksana Zhelisko, who frequently teaches portrait painting at the Paint Spot’s art studios, Artelier, points out that “portraits are not just a depiction, but also an interpretation. They are a combination of fact and subjectivity with your perspective as the guide.” And we have to add, everyone who has participated so far loves the inspiration the subject brings, and shows the results of their creative effort with pride.

Beware, participation in the Pet Portrait Show might cause inspiration!

Joining in this group exhibition has so many positive results. Committing to showing your portrait is a great motivator, especially if you don’t always make as much art as you want to. It is rewarding and fun to share your expressive art and to see for yourself the terrific range of responses the theme evokes. If The Big, Big Pet Portrait Show leads to a desire to make more art, supplies are at your fingertips, we have you covered. We offer a 20% discount for the length of the show as an added incentive. And, if it leads to a desire to learn more, join one of the many art classes at The Paint Spot’s Artelier Studios, Edmonton’s newest art hub.

If you recall our Big Big Portrait Show of 2016, then you know this will be a sight to see.

Naess Gallery

10032 81 Avenue | Phone: 780 432 0240 | Email: accounts (at)

Named for Sidsel Naess Bradley, The Paint Spot’s founder. who recognized the need for spaces that promote the exploration of artistic ideas and innovative processes. We are extremely proud of this heritage and its contribution to the development of many artists. Naess Gallery continues to be inclusive, encouraging dialogue among artists and visitors. We welcome proposals for exhibitions that push materials, techniques, subject matter, and conceptions.

In planning the Exhibition Year, we will be inviting artists whose practices we admire to exhibit their new works. It will be a year to revisit artists who have shown in the Naess Gallery in the past and to reveal new artists as well. We are going to see an exciting and enriching program of shows! If you have questions about the Naess Gallery or its exhibition program, please ask Kim Fjordbotten phone 780 432 0240.

See what’s new at the Naess Gallery, or be inspired by past artist talks.

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