BRIDGEPORT — Pets and their adoring owners are invited to have their portraits created by artists with Project Onward.
The group's Pet Picnic takes place from noon-3 p.m. Saturday in the sculpture garden outside the Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 W. 35th St. That's roughly the same time the Bridgeport Farmers' Market gets underway at the same location.
Casey Cora explains how a pet portrait can help a good cause in the Bridgeport neighborhood:
Comprised of artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Project Onward was founded in 2004 as part of the Gallery 37 initiative, a job-training program started by the city in the early 1990s. A year later, it became part of city’s now-disbanded Department of Cultural Affairs and moved into the Chicago Cultural Center.
Last year, the group moved into new digs at the Bridgeport Art Center, providing artists with new work space and materials, as well as opportunities for the exhibition and sale of their work.
The nonprofit group's signature "portrait slams" are a key fundraising component, with events taking place throughout the year.
Saturday's event, where nine artists will paint, draw and create glitter-splashed likenesses, is the "first time we've focused on just pets," said spokesman Andres Torres.
Portraits will cost $30 for a single pet; add two human companions to the portrait for $50.
Bridgeport's Bark N Bites will also be on-hand giving away goodie bags to dogs and cats.
The pet picnic is part of Project Onward's Pets on Parade art exhibit, which runs through August 9. Organizers say Project Onward’s fifth-floor studio and and the larger Bridgeport Art Center are pet-friendly.