October 2020

What’s better than cats and dogs? Well, dogs and cats, of course! Join DARE in welcoming Sue Mooney (of Wild Barking Moon) and Jessie Lawson (of Flying Cat Arthouse) for another fun evening of art, wine, GF treats by Atuvava, and tarot readings by Sage Tarot!
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Sue Mooney loves to see people laugh. During the 13 years this self-taught artist managed group homes for clients with severe and profound developmentally disabilities, she was known to stand on chairs and dance to make clients smile. Plus, she worked with patients who have HIV/AIDS for 18 years to get the medical care they needed. A co-worker of Mooney’s saw a photo of her pup wearing goggles suggested they’d make great greeting cards.
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Not long after, Mooney and her Yorkies chose a life of art and adventure and Wild Barking Moon was born. Mooney built a whole new life selling her art at shows and online. She definitely loves to see shock give way to snorts of laughter. She still remembers the moment when a toddler kissed one of her dog portraits square on the lips. And she’s continued pursuing her dreams – letting them grow along the way, expanding from portraits that people say truly capture the depth of animals to creating equally vibrant pictures of cities, landscapes, and those animals’ humans. All of it includes Mooney’s signature take on the world: a POV that is at once witty, compassionate, and genuine.
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Every piece of art Jessie Lawson creates, regardless of the medium in which she’s working, represents a special, slightly weird world, inhabited by hybrid human/animal creatures that are generally having a good time. That’s the place that her imagination inhabits, and it’s the source of all her inspiration.
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Some of her creatures show up in large canvases. Others appear in mixed-media pieces or collages, some of which are very small. (Using collage techniques, Jessie produced a full deck of cards: fifty-two plus two jokers.) Others pop out of their frame to become doll-like creatures, made from fabric, paperclay, and any other material that comes to hand.
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This is unabashedly playful art: Jessie does what she does for the joy of it. She enjoys borrowing from the art of the past, playing with different period styles–from medieval manuscript illumination to early modern art painting–and with an array of familiar scenes, images, and symbols. At the same time, she is always trying to open a window into her own personal visionary space, hoping that it gives pleasure to others, as well.
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Along with the fun, Jessie considers doing art to be an important social activity. We test the quality of our own social reality against the better worlds we’re capable of imagining. Even these crazy little animal-people can help us learn how to live more happily, more humanely, and more wisely.