Opening Reception: Saturday, August 25, 5–8pm
Exhibition Dates: August 25–September 21, 2012
Location & Hours
Venice Arts Gallery
1702 Lincoln Blvd., Venice CA 90291
Monday–Friday, 10am–6pm and by appointment
Gallery & Public Programs are free and open to the public.
Venice Arts Gallery is pleased to present “Venice Family Dog,” an exhibition of over 50 new portraits by thirty-six-year Venice resident and long-time Venice Arts supporter Susan Rennie. Venice families, as well as members of the public (and their dogs) are invited to celebrate with us during the opening reception on August 25th. The exhibition will be on view through September 22nd. This will be Rennie’s third exhibition at the Venice Arts Gallery.
Taking the Venice community as her subject matter, Rennie captures the uniqueness and variety of this area through the specificity of the family portait. Through her photographs, Rennie strives to represent all the critical elements of Venice’s demography, although she admits that the the selection of families, limited to a few dozen households from among twenty-seven thousand has, by necessity, been subjective. The dogs here also represent just a fraction of dogdom’s kaleidoscope—thirty breeds, from teacup Chihuahua to Newfoundland, as well as a host of marvelous dogs of assorted parentage.
For Rennie, the abounding vareity of dogs in Venice become reflective of the various familial structures that make up our community. As Rennie says, “Venice has not been nicknamed Dogtown for nothing. That moniker may have originated with early skateboarders, but it is also a valid descriptor of the variegated dogs that populate Venice, and who, I have noticed over the years, reflect the rich mosaic of its human inhabitants. For Venice is surely one of the most diverse, heterogeneous communities in a nation that prizes its pluralism: people who are rich and poor; artsy, funky, glitzy; brown, white, black; bourgeois and homeless; young and old; the famous living among the ordinary; artists and visionaries alongside mow and blow gardeners and political activists.”
The project grew out of Rennie’s walks through the neighborhood with her own dog: “As I have walked my dog around Venice, encountering other dogs and their companions, and as I have socialized with Venetian friends and neighbors and their dogs, I flashed on a particular dimension of Venice’s uniqueness: family structure—representing almost every flavor on the spectrum of domestic arrangement. Since dogs are integral family members, devoted to their people as their people are devoted to them, I undertook to portray the dimensions of family variety with the dog as the lynchpin.”