Haute hounds: Brookfield hosts art show for dogs

Photos by Bill Egbert
These perplexed pooches weren’t quite sure what to make of this statue made of dog toys.
Photo by Bill Egbert
Pet designer Anthony Rubio brought out his couture canines, Bogie and Kimba, to make the scene.


The art world has gone to the dogs.

A pack of canine connoisseurs descended on and open-air gallery at Brookfield Place over the weekend of Aug. 12 to get a sniff of the nation’s first art show curated just for dogs.

The exhibit, dubbed dOGUMENTA, was the brainchild of art critic Jessica Dawson, inspired by her own dog’s reactions when she made the rounds of local galleries.

Dawson recruited ten artists to create art pieces that pooches would appreciate — from a dog-sized living room set they were free to lounge on, to a statue of a dog composed entirely of dog toys, to a portrait rendered in biscuits and exhibited inside a dog house so as to be viewable only by four-legged friends.

By far the most popular artwork was Dana Sherwood’s creation — a selection of savory “food sculptures” in the style of elaborate Victorian-era confectionery. Many of the attendees just couldn’t get their fill of her work.

Photos by Bill Egbert
Presented with stylized facsimile, some dogs still preferred the real thing.

Sherwood credited her “recipe tester,” a sleek Whippet named Hera, for the success of her work.

The guests of honor were rescue dogs from A Fair Shake for Youth, an animal-therapy program working with at-risk kids. Founder and executive director Audrey Hendler was escorting Lucy, an inquisitive border collie-spaniel-hound mix who darted from one installation to another all evening, taking it all in.

“She’s a very sensitive soul,” said Hendler. “She doesn’t reflect too deeply on life, and that’s part of her joy.”

Photo by Bill Egbert
Lucy, a rescue dog working with animal-therapy youth program A Fair Shake for Youth, took great interest in Dana Sherwood’s mixed media piece “Confections of Canines and Kings.”