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Shawnee exhibit raises food for abandoned animals

BY KAREN MAYHALL Modified: November 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm •  Published: November 28, 2012

SHAWNEE -- The care and compassion that Oklahomans feel for homeless and abandoned cats and dogs was strongly demonstrated at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art during the 2012 regional art exhibit, Tails of Cats and Dogs.

This care and compassion was made visually apparent by the 124 artworks created by 102 Oklahoma artists for the exhibit.

"We were absolutely overwhelmed by the participation in this exhibit," said Donna Merkt, MGMoA curator of education. "There were more participating artists and included artworks than we have yet seen in the regional exhibit."

The regional exhibit was open to any artist, of any age, or any skill level. "We accepted art from everyone who wanted to help-even artistic animals!" exclaimed Merkt.

Each year, the museum hosts a regional exhibition that benefits a local charity. The beneficiary of this year's exhibit was Saving Pets at Risk, a local charity that helps abandoned cats and dogs.

During the run of the exhibit, the museum waived admission for any visitor bringing a pet product to donate to SPAR.

The numbers were: 301 pounds of dry dog food, 108 pounds of dry cat food, 39 cans of dog food, 86 cans of cat food, 124 pounds of kitty litter, 29 containers of dog treats, 26 leashes and collars, 26 dog and cat toys, 18 food bowls, 8 beds and bedding, and 14 miscellaneous pet care products.

"We are grateful for all of this support; it helps so much," said Sherry Claybrook, SPAR officer and volunteer.

Claybrook went on to describe the many hungry dog and cats that will be fed through these generous donations; however, she stressed that support from the community will always be welcome as "the need is so great."

SPAR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is not a breed-specific rescue; it sponsors adoption fairs, foster homes, and spaying and neutering clinics in an effort to help homeless and abused animals. For more information, including adoption inquiries, please visit

"The Museum staff is overwhelmed by the generosity and the compassion of our community," said Merkt. "Our sincere appreciation is extended to all of the participating artists and all of the donors."

Additional information about the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art is available at or call 405-878-5300. The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art is located at 1900 W. MacArthur on the campus of St. Gregory's University.

Regular admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children 6-18 and students with ID, free for children 5 and under.