Art and Animals

Mankind and animals have had a special bond since the beginning of time. Artists throughout the ages have always created drawings and paintings of animals. Stone Age men decorated their caves with the images of the animals that they hunted for food.The ancient Egyptian artists depicted many of their gods with the heads of animals.Examples of tribal art from every continent combine animal and human features to symbolize man’s bond with his natural environment. In the Middle Ages, artists used mythical beasts to decorate medieval manuscripts while commonplace creatures often took on secret symbolic associations.

In 17th century art, hunting scenes illustrating dramatic life and death struggles between man and beast was a popular subject.18th century artists chose to celebrate the natural beauty and majestic power of animals in their natural habitats. In the 19th century, Victorian artists painted sentimental pictures of their domestic pets and livestock. The artists of the 20th century explored the entire range of animal genres and invented a few more of their own.

For 16 years, Reno has celebrated the arts during the month of July—officially known as Reno is Artown—creating a climate of cultural rebirth for the area. At Nevada Humane Society, we have declared July as Reno is Petown—a fitting celebration of the arts as it relates to animals.

The Reno is Petown adoption promotion is encouraging residents to adopt their very own “Dog Vinci,” “Cattisse,” or “Petcasso” at a reduced adoption fee. But it is also directly participating with special Artown events. The final event for the month is today—an event called Creative Kids for Critters that combines art, kids, and pets,

At this event, kids willsketch their favorite shelter pet for a chance to win cool prizes or get creative with sidewalk chalk art. In addition, resident cats, kittens and dogs will put their best paws forward and make some unique art of their own—taking animals and art to a new level in the 21st century.

Thanks to Artown, July has always been my favorite time of year in Reno. I personally have already participated in a variety of exciting and entertaining events. As we finish out the month, don’t forget how animals have contributed to the arts over the years and please don’t forget the many homeless pets that are looking for that special new home.

Events that Help Homeless Pets

Reno is Petown through July 31 at Nevada Humane Society. Adult cats and dogs (4 months and older) that have been in the shelter over three months are free. Other adult cats are $25 and other adult dogs are $50. Kittens are just $40. Call 775-856-2000 for more info.

Nevada Humane Society’s Kids for Critters on Saturday, July 28 from 12 noon – 3:00 pm. Kids draw animals for prizes, create sidewalk chalk art. The whole family can watch shelter animals create their own art. Shelter located at 2825 Longley, Ln. in Reno.

Duck Race & Festival to benefit Nevada Humane Society, August 28, 11 am – 5 pm at Wingfield Park. Adopt a rubber duck for $5, help homeless pets, and have a chance to win great prizes! For more information or to adopt a duck, visit


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