Portraits of man’s best friend

Posted 2/26/20

As March approaches, The Wallkill River School is preparing for a month filled with furry friends!

There will be a very special benefit exhibit titled “Paws” which will feature …

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Portraits of man’s best friend


As March approaches, The Wallkill River School is preparing for a month filled with furry friends!

There will be a very special benefit exhibit titled “Paws” which will feature paintings done by dogs of the Walden Humane Society. To compliment these pup’s paintings, WRS will be holding a group show titled Unconditional: Portraits of Dogs, Juried by Joseph Sundwall, who will be having his own exhibit titled Unconditional, which features a collection of his oil paintings. These exhibits will be on display until the end of April, with a reception on March 7 from 5 - 7 p,m. The exhibit will lead up to an adoption event on April 5 12 - 2 p.m. where event goers can view, and potentially adopt, the participating dogs.

The Wallkill River School and the Humane Society of Walden are coming together for an exhibit like no other. This winter, the Walden Humane Society embarked on a special project to have their beautiful canines produce paintings. The Humane Society of Walden is a no-kill, non-profit safe haven that believes all animals have a natural right to humane treatment including proper care, respect, and safe shelter. Their primary mission is to provide care while finding permanent, loving homes for the many animals that come to their door. The hope was that the fun abstract works that were produced by these dogs would be a great tool throughout the humane society’s mission of finding homes for these special animals.

This March, WRS hopes to make that happen with their PAWS benefit exhibit in March and the corresponding adoption event on April 5 from 12 - 2 p.m. at the gallery. During the adoption event, attendees can meet the dogs, play with them, see their stunning artworks, and ultimately help the dogs find their forever home!

The exhibit titled Unconditional: Portraits of Dogs, will be juried by exhibiting artists Joseph Sundwall, as this is a subject he has a particular knack for in his oil paintings.

Joseph Sundwall was raised in a suburb of Chicago at a time when the arts were an integral part of a child’s education. Encouraged by family and art educators, he found his art path early on, and completed his first oil painting in third grade. When it came time for college he chose the Kansas City Art Institute with the intention of majoring in painting, but after getting a taste of other arts in the first year foundation program, he became fascinated by the peculiar work being done in the graphic design department. This led to a pursual of graphic design and ultimately, a move to New York City where he worked as a graphic designer for several years. After a successful graphic design/typesetting career, Joseph finally fell back in love with fine art, and pursued more traditional education took at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design, and at St Oswald’s Studios in London. Today, Joseph divides his time between figure painting and landscape, which usually includes animals and, of late, birds in particular. As much as possible he paints from life, preferring the simple oil sketch as reference material as opposed to photography. His painting style relies in great part on wet-into-wet techniques, plus the juxtaposition of areas of flat paint with modeling and vigorous brushwork playing off areas of studied strokes. You can see this technique applied to the many works in his solo show “Unleashed” this March and April at WRS.

The Wallkill River School is located at 232 Ward St. Montgomery and is open 12 - 5 p.m. Mon-Sat. visit Wallkill.art to learn more. Admission is always free.


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