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The Journal Gazette

  • Courtesy Maggie, left, and Janie are dogs that artist Susan Kline has rescued.

  • Courtesy Artist Susan Kline is donating part of the proceeds from her Orchard Gallery show this month to local animal shelters.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 11:30 am

Spotlight: Artist Susan Kline

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

If you go

What: Mixed media demonstration with Susan Kline

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Orchard Gallery of Fine Art, 6312-A Covington Road

Admission: Free

Also: Susan Kline's show runs through May 31. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Local mixed-media artist Susan Kline is using her new show at The Orchard Gallery of Fine Art to benefit animal shelters.

She is donating 10 percent of her proceeds from the show this month to the Allen County SPCA and 10 percent to Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control. Proceeds from a silent auction of two original pieces will be split between the organizations as well.

"I am so blessed that I can create art that can help make money for animal shelters," Kline says by email. "And it is a two-fold joy, the art makes people happy! It is so rewarding when I can give to a cause that is so dear to my heart. I was given a gift of creating joyous art, and I can give back. Nothing is more fulfilling than that."

Kline will have a mixed media demonstration on Saturday. The public is welcome to watch her work at the gallery.

The artist answered some questions via email. Responses have been edited.

Q. What do you hope people walk away from your show thinking about?

A. I hope they are a bit happier! I make art to bring joy and happiness and when I paint dogs and cats I try to put as much love into (it) as I can. I do not paint breed specific on purpose. I want them to look like a mixed breed, which most are that at the rescues. I want people to think about adopting instead of shopping. To think about all the animals that are in shelters waiting to be taken home and loved. No animal is more grateful than one that is adopted.

Q. Is there something specific in your childhood that triggered a love of animals?

A. Nothing specific triggered my love for animals; I just have a passion that I believe you are born with. I was always interested in all kinds of animals from birds to turtles. I always had a fascination in veterinary medicine, thinking when I became an adult I would become one. Life took me down another path though... I paint them.

Q. How many pets have you adopted?

A. I am not sure how many pets I have adopted over my 62 years. I have two adopted dogs, two cats and a parakeet as of now. They are the love of my life! I would love to have more, but with all the traveling I do to my art shows it wouldn't be fair to them.

My happiest time is when I am home with them and in my art studio creating. My dream would be able to have a place where I could take in older dogs that no one wants, giving them a loving home until they leave the world. I also help find homes for dogs I see online in shelters, posting pictures on my Facebook page, so maybe one might interest one of my friends. Both of my daughters have adopted animals ... it runs in the family!

Q. What is your first memory of creating art?

A. My earliest memory of creating art is when I was about 5 years old. I made my own art studio in a shower stall that was never finished in a utility room in our house my father and grandfather built.

I took my small children's card table and chairs, a small lamp, some construction paper and watercolor paints and created art. It was my nest and I spent a lot of time there. I loved making greeting cards mostly, gifting them to who ever was around. I have always been driven to create.