On Sept. 3, from noon to 6 p.m., Newtown residents can celebrate the unconditional love they receive from their pets by attending the 1st annual Unconditional Love Arts Festival at the McLaughlin Vineyards on Albert’s Hill Road in Sandy Hook.
Proceeds of the sales will directly benefit rescue organizations in their quest to care for and find homes for the area’s strays. And, , is donating its gorgeous 160-acre setting, which includes 15 acres of vineyards, hiking trails, a 50 acre wildlife and bald eagle sanctuary as a backdrop for this 1st annual event.
Over the past few years the Animal Center has cared for and saved more than 1,500 cats and dogs and, in the last four years, ROAR, Ridgefield’s private shelter has rescued and re-homed almost 2,000 dogs and cats. With both organizations dependant solely on private donations this festival can help those thousands of animals still out there waiting for their forever homes.
The line-up of artists for the festival is impressive.
With his iconic poster for the event available for sale that day, Sandy Hook artist, Richard Budman is donating proceeds to the Love Fest. A true animal rescue supporter, a quote from Budman’s website says it all, “A pet brings good feelings into a home and that’s what I want my art to do.”
In the past, Budman’s art has raised thousands of dollars for R.O.A.R, the Newtown Pound, Animals for Life and several other Connecticut shelters.
For some extra smiles, visit the exhibit of paintings by Karen Schneider Kensek, who paints “only those animals that make me smile.” And, her comical painting of chickens available for sale at the event will do just that.
Nationally award-winning photographer and Newtown resident, Marleen Cafarelli, known locally for her tireless efforts to support and photograph Newtown’s Second Company Horse Guard will exhibit her amazing photographs of animals and local pets, including those taken exclusively for The Animal Center.
From North Carolina, watercolor artist and Connecticut native, Christian Lebraux Kennedy will exhibit “Lisette’s Dream,” a watercolor painting combining a dreamy mix of border collies, other dogs and landscape scenes. You can view some of Lebraux’s other artwork at http://www.gallerylebraux.com.
Monica Roberto, Director of The Animal Center, said she hopes area residents will attend.
“The arts festival will feature upbeat, animal-themed sculptures, paintings and photographs, honoring the spirit of unconditional love animals bring to this world," she said. "We hope Newtowners will come out to enjoy these amazing works of art and show their support their local rescue groups.”
So, mark your calendar for Sat., Sept. 3, and join The Animal Center, ROAR, art connoisseurs and animal rescue enthusiasts to help honor and celebrate the unconditional love we receive everyday from our beloved family pets.