‘A story behind each picture’: Nationally-recognized artwork donated to ECCAS

Published 5:10 pm Friday, February 23, 2018

Over the years, Mark Barone’s paintings have received worldwide recognition.

Soon, one piece from the well-renowned artist will be proudly displayed inside the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter (ECCAS).

Shelter employees were surprised last Saturday when local resident Kent Edens arrived at the facility to donate a large, framed painting from Barone – which includes portraits of various shelter dogs.

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“There’s a story behind each of these dogs,” said Shannon Posada, ECCAS director. “This picture just has so much behind it. Our staff was excited to receive this picture. We excited to have something like this to promote shelter dogs, including pit bulls. There are so many dogs that come through our shelter that end up in loving homes. We just want to remind people to check their local shelters first before when looking at getting a pet. There are so many great dogs that come through here. We’re really thankful for this donation.”

Promoting the loving attitude of pit bulls and other shelter animals is a subject close to the heart of filmmaker Isabelle Sherrill, who provided the artwork to Edens and encouraged him to donate it to the local shelter.

Sherrill is the filmmaker behind the documentary “Beyond the Myth: The Truth About Pit Bulls”, which is available on iTunes, Amazon and was featured on Netflix.

The independent film proved to be a success in highlighting breed discrimination, breed-specific legislation and highlighted the positive attitudes pit bulls can bring to families, according to Edens.

“Isabelle actually gave me the poster and asked me to donate it to my local animal shelter,” he told the Elizabethton Star Friday. “The poster is of paintings of different shelter dogs. It’s really a great piece of work because it’s interesting to see what the artist is trying to convey with all these dogs. We’re hoping this can be used as a way to encourage people to visit their shelters and for these animals to find loving homes.”

ECCAS also has its fair share of pit bulls that come through. Pooches like Cooper, who was enjoying a playful walk outside the shelter Friday often go against the popular misconception of being “bad dogs” according to Posada and staff member Wendy Mathes.

“Cooper is such a good dog,” Posada said. “And it’s that way with the others that come through. We’ll have people that come in that are a little apprehensive about pit bulls. We hope this poster, and the awareness of Ms. Sherrill’s documentary, will help encourage someone to think differently about pit bulls and other shelter animals.”

Posada added the staff is currently identifying the proper location to display Barone’s work.

“We’ve got a couple a spots we’re looking at but wherever it goes, we want to make sure people are able to see it and the message,” Posada said.

Visit anactofdog.org to learn more about Barone’s work. Information on Sherrill’s move can also be viewed by searching for Beyond the Myth on Facebook.