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Thursday, Oct 6, 2022
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Painters Turn Shelter Walls Into Murals

What happens when you equip a company of artists, scores of volunteers and an art therapist with free art supplies and unleash them on the San Diego Humane Society animal shelter?

That’s right, animal murals and a freshly painted rabbit yard.

More than 100 volunteers, including some children, joined San Diego-based Art For A Change, a local firm that organizes and manages volunteer groups, to paint murals, benches, boards and eaves July 22 at the Linda Vista animal shelter.

Led by Laura Janes, founder of the San Diego painters company Iconica, and Kate Webb, an art therapist, the volunteer contingent of painters is willing to take on all the bare walls of any organization that can’t pay the going rate.

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“We’ve just about painted everywhere,” Janes said.

The group usually charges $1,500 for their services, but compare that to the $10,000 to $15,000 murals the nonprofit and corporate organizations get to keep and it’s quite a deal, Janes said.

In July, they spruced up, among other things, the animal shelter’s “Get Acquainted Area.”

It’s an area of the shelter compound formerly home to goats, pigs and chickens, but used now for introducing adopted animals to family members and pets, said Sue Jenkins, shelter assistant director.

Art For A Change volunteers usually bring supplies left over from their own jobs, but on this day Vista Paint and Wallcovering supplied the tools.

The volunteers painted all four walls inside the compound different themes from a jungle theme to a gateway theme, highlighting the society’s future move to a structure next door to the County’s Department of Animal Control, Jenkins said.

“They painted anything that wasn’t moving,” she said.

Including the boards overlooking the rabbit exercise yard , a place where “they can run around and do their rabbit thing,” Jenkins said.

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