Monday, November 19, 2007

...NO DOGMA'S ALLOWED.



Steve Huneck is an artist with a great love for his dogs so it was only natural that he would portray their antics in his whimsical art. The first picture that I saw, about 3 years ago, was “Life Is a Ball” and I loved the simplicity and the upbeat message.

When I was visiting my niece recently in St. Johnsbury, Vt. she told me that his studio, gallery and DOG CHAPEL were nearby. I couldn’t wait to visit and I wasn’t disappointed. It is located on 400 open, pasture-like acres aptly named “Dog Mountain”. Visitors are encouraged to bring their dogs and there are even three dog ponds for their pleasure!

The gallery is a delight. There are many pictures for sale but also children‘s books...written and illustrated by the artist...specialty items and, most fascinating of all...FURNITURE.

That’s right….furniture. Tables, chairs, banisters, etc...all beautifully wrought and with animal motifs. The Chapel even boasts pews with a seated dog at each end. Each piece of furniture is hand hewn and one of a kind.

The highlight of our visit, for me anyway, was the DOG CHAPEL. Mr Huneck built the chapel after he had a near death experience and he considers it “the largest artwork of my life and most personal”. Visitors are encouraged to celebrate the lives of the pets that they have lost and I was amazed to see that the walls of the two large rooms that comprise the chapel were completely covered with bits of paper and photographs.

A Lab with wings tops the white steeple of the Chapel and inside you see dog carvings, pictures and even stained glass windows that incorporate the dog theme. I loved the simplicity of the building and the over-all feel of peace and serenity. The sign in front of the Chapel summed it up for me...and I couldn’t help but think that it would be a different world if more churches would adhere to it.
It reads:

“ALL CREEDS, ALL BREEDS, NO DOGMA'S ALLOWED"

6 Comments:

Blogger kenju said...

That sounds like a great place to visit - I wish there were pics!

10:05 AM  
Blogger Bud said...

Cat discrimination if I ever saw it.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Living in southern Vermont, I have never heard of this place. Once again your travels have opened my eyes.

3:33 AM  
Blogger Crayons said...

Happy Thanksgiving Ginny,

I enjoyed this post as well as the 3 or 4 that preceded it. It's such a pleasure to see your photos and read your excellent prose. I liked your homage to Marcel Marceau. He was -- IS -- unforgettable.

I am back to blogging again. It took 7 months for me to live life unmediated by blogs. I am refreshed and ready to dive in again.

6:52 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

Ginnie, thanks for the visit and comment. I drove through your fair burg on Thanksgiving, on the way to my daughter's and I thought the very same thing! I'd love to meet you and Bud, and someday soon, we will make that happen.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Terri said...

What a great post and thanks for sharing this, as I'd never heard of the artist or his gallery.
You have to know if it were closer to me, I'd definitely pay it a visit and take along Duncan and Brie. What a great thing for him to do. And OH yeah...I love what he said!

8:24 AM  

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