As you may have noticed, a neon sign now illuminates the storefront of PRPP Gallery on the main street of Ridgefield. This signage serves as the first installment of the “Bow Wow Art Dogs” and “Leader of the Pack Events” which culminate in the inaugural events celebrating the creation of the ArtFul visual arts initiative.
Shared on their website, “ArtFul is a non-profit community initiative that supports opportunities for both working and aspiring artists. ArtFul is committed to providing grants to enrich arts education in our community and to support local and national organizations that align with our core principles.
The “Bow Wow” sign was created by artist Kody Shafer, owner of Spectacular neon in Wilton. Shafer began working with neon as a teenager in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He then apprenticed at Absolutely Neon before moving to New York City and later to Osaka, Japan, where he started working with Yoshi’s Neon Studio. Its “Bow Wow” signage serves as an emblem of upcoming events.
Local businesses get involved by sponsoring an artist of their choice to create resin dog statues for display on Main Street. The objective of this project is to publicize the name and mission of ArtFul, allowing it to become a more community-based initiative while simultaneously supporting the companies and artists involved in this campaign.
“There’s going to be a series of about 20 to 23 songs scattered and displayed along Main Street starting in mid-June. They will be on display all summer with the permission of the city of course! said Brook Heinen, CFO of the PRPP Art Center and Academy
This event doubles as an auction as all the statues will be adorned with QR codes that will lead viewers to an online silent auction site. The auction will end on September 25 with the ultimate event of the “Leader of the Pack Auction Event” to be held at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art.
However, several other activities will take place before these resin dogs can be collected for “adoption.”
“The Bow Wow sign is the first step in getting the ball rolling. In July, we want to host a community paint day where the little doxin hotdogs will be painted and then scattered around shop windows and retail stores for a treasure hunt, ”said Heinen.
In addition, around the 3rd weekend of August, the official opening weekend will take place, with a dog parade, volunteer vendors and lots of waving tails. Proceeds from these events will benefit ROAR, the Ridgefield Guild of Artists and ArtFul, the hosts and sponsors of the weekend. The hope for the weekend is to bring people back into the community and together as we near the end of Covid – pun intended.