Odessa artists to raise funds for animal shelter programs

Basin area artists hope to do for dogs and cats in Odessa what they’ve done for the hungry – use their talents to raise money to help homeless fur babies.

A group of artists were scheduled to meet Wednesday evening at Odessa College to begin planning their ‘Mugs for Mutts, Cups for Cats’ fundraising efforts.

The goal is to raise money that will be donated to the city’s new animal shelter where it can be used for such things as spaying and neutering, creating programs where youths and adults can interact with animals or a pet training program, said UTPB Associate Professor of Art Chris Stanley, who is spearheading the project.

“Twenty-two years ago, we started a local empty bowls campaign to help feed the hungry,” Stanley said. “We hope to do something similar with this effort, but this time helping animals.

“The idea is to bring artists into problem solving issues.”

Like the empty bowls campaign, basin area potters will create bowls that will be sold at a series of events that will be held throughout the year.

The exact types of events are still-to-be-determined, but Stanley said initial ideas include coffee-tasting events or even high-end whiskey tasting.

Stanley credits his art students with inspiring the idea. Although the empty bowls campaign has been very successful, several students recently suggested using the same fundraising model to address other social issues.

It was also a matter of timing – the Odessa City Council recently voted to construct a new animal shelter, Stanley said. The group will continue their efforts to feed the hungry, he added.

“I believe we can make this an unequivocal success,” Stanley said. “The infrastructure is already there.”