Thursday, April 12, 2012

Riley, Sara Harley, and Myrtle (from SHAID) with the 2012 Paws For Charity Art Book


From this week's Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin, written by Lisa Brown: 

You might say it’s one paw helping another. 

Upper Branch resident Sara Harley has created an art book filled with photos of dogs and cats to raise money for SHAID animal shelter in Whynotts Settlement. 

The 80-page book features work from 66 photographers and artists in nine countries, all beautifully displayed in full colour with information about the photos and artists. 

It’s a project of Paws for Charity, an effort which began about six years ago in Ontario when Ms Harley and three other women with dog-related businesses joined forces to raise funds. 

After moving to Nova Scotia, Ms Harley decided to continue the work. 

This is her fourth art book in as many years, the third featuring dogs and cats. In 2009 and 2010, proceeds went to breast cancer charity. 

Last year, she took the book in a different direction. Instead of depicting animals, she went with more general photos to inspire people going through difficult times. That money went to the Rose Fund, a local charity which assists cancer patients. 

It was her own connection with SHAID, in the form of her recently adopted cat Myrtle, that brought her back to Paws for Charity and prompted her to direct funds to the animal shelter this year. 

Ms Harley wasn’t certain how artists from far and wide would react to such a local charity, but was delighted to find her concerns unfounded. 

“They’re animal people and they’re willing to help with the cause,” she says. 

The book can only be purchased on-line on an on-demand basis. It became available last month and sold 85 copies in 10 days, reaching number 2 on the publisher’s bestsellers list.

The Paws for Charity art book is available on-line at http://www.blurb.com/books/3078747.

Information is also available at http://www.facebook.com/PawsForCharity.

Ms Harley also makes available postcards and greeting cards featuring some of the photos. Again, all proceeds go to SHAID.

Plans are already under way for next year’s book with artists and photographers asking to participate.

“I am fortunate enough to be retired,” Ms Harley says, “and I like to give back. I have the luxury of being able to live the lifestyle I live, … so whenever I can I like to become involved in projects that help other people.

“I would love to help out at SHAID, but I know I couldn’t. My heart would be broken every day.”

Here is the link to the online article: http://southshorenow.ca/archives/2012/041112/arts/Paws_for_a_cause.html.php 

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