July 13-15, Whyte Avenue, artwalk.ca
On hot days, Patricia Mamak’s backyard has a Slip’n Slide that’s slightly different from the wet plastic contraption of your childhood. This one’s actually a much shorter canvas covered in non-toxic paint. And the youngsters that slide across it have fur and tails.
Mamak works with rescue dogs from the Humane Animal Rescue Team (HART) to paint everything from tiny watercolours to three-metre-long abstracts on stretched canvas.
Her, or more accurately, their work has been sold around the world, including this July’s Art Walk. All proceeds will go to HART, where the University of Alberta psychology graduate has volunteered since 2009.
She started selling the paintings on Facebook. After a few months, online fair-trade retailer, Ethical Ocean, asked to carry some in its inventory. Now she can count customers in Borneo, Germany and Australia.
Though many HART animals have serious injuries, which are treated by volunteer vets, Mamak only works with dogs that are physically able to do the work and truly enjoy it.