Gratitude: Thanks to all for the "Downtown Cats" love!

The “Downtown Cats” mural is now an official and permanent part of the Canton Arts District’s growing collection of public art!

Thanks to the Canton and Stark County community for coming out last Friday to celebrate with me as we dedicated the mural. And thanks to those who tuned in around the world via the USTREAM broadcast.

We had so much fun, and we had a great night for animal rescue!

Pets found new families, and families found new best friends. Many donations were raised for Friends of Stark Pound and Second Chance for Animals, and many people learned about the great work these two organizations do to help homeless pets.

The mural was dedicated to homeless pets and people around the globe who work tirelessly to support them and find them homes. I thank each and every one of you for the work that you do and the love that you share with animals in need.

If you missed the Dedication, you can watch the entire event on the video above.

The four cats featured in the mural, Noah, Slick, Who, and Brewskie Butt, easily could have found the same fate that many animals do when they do not find homes, which is euthanasia. I am SOOOO glad that they did not find that fate, as they have become my muses and my lovable companions, and I could not bear life without them.

I want to send special thanks to Tim Belden, owner of the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography, who commissioned the mural. Thank you, Tim, for letting me use your wall as a canvas, for supporting my vision and my art, and for recognizing that the “depth of love” for animals is a worthy inspiration for fine art. I cannot thank you enough for all your support to me and to all of the artists working in the Canton Arts District.

I also want to send special thanks to Robb Hankins, CEO of ArtsinStark, for all of his personal support to me, and for all that he has done to promote the arts in Stark County, OH. Robb can wear a suit and convince people in high places that supporting the arts is good business, an he can dress up as a clown to lead a First Friday Street Parade, all within minutes of each other. Just before donning the goofy get-up you see in the video above, he was in a tux at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinees Dinner.

Five years ago, Robb and I had lunch, and he told me, “Vicki, you need to get your art into the pet products business. People who love cats are going to love your cat art, and they will BUY it.”

I listened. Thanks Robb.

The video you see below is some pre-Dedication interviews and some meet and greet with the animals. If you see a pet that interests you, contact me and I will see if it is possible to get the animal to you. There are not guarantees for transporting them, but anything is possible.

Thanks for the love — for animals and for art!