By Natasha Anderson
When Mountain Pet Rescue (MPR) co-founders Joelle Warren and Erica Paschold identified the need for a transport van, they turned to Asheville artist Angela Alexander to help organize a fundraiser. Alexander, who had worked with Warren and MPR on past rescue-related projects, enthusiastically agreed.
“Fostering animals or working at shelters is too emotional for me,” says Alexander. “Using my art to help save the lives of homeless animals is how I can make a difference.”
Warren and Paschold decided to sell paw prints with pet names on them and work with Alexander on creating a few pet portraits to honor larger donations. The paw prints and Alexander’s portrait series Rescued My HeART will be featured on the vehicle as a way to raise awareness while transporting rescued pets to spay/neuter appointments and completing intakes and transfers over a wider range.
“MPR Asheville has grown exponentially since we started the organization in late 2017,” says Warren. “We want to save even more lives of the animals in our community, as well as bring awareness to the importance of animal rescue and this van will play a huge part in that.”
Alexander created the series by working from photographs provided by the owners of the pets. Each portrait features a dog or cat rendered in the bold strokes of color that characterize Alexander’s work and represent her subjects’ energy and personalities. Though the project, which launched in November 2020, has already raised enough money to purchase the van, sales of the portraits in print format will be an ongoing fundraiser for MPR.
“Angela has always been generous in donating her time and beautiful art to support our cause,” says Paschold. “Her colorful, playful portraits really capture the spirit of each animal she paints and we are so excited to showcase her talent.”
All eight portraits are available. Prints on paper are $25 each. Prints on metal range from $125–$1,200. Alexander will donate 20 percent of the proceeds from each purchase to MPR.
Prints can be purchased at AngelaAlexanderArt.com, at Woolworth Walk Gallery and at NorthLight Studios at 357 Depot Street in Asheville’s River Arts District. Follow Alexander on Facebook @AngelaAlexanderArt, or contact her by emailing info@AngelaAlexanderArt.com, or calling 828.273.4494. Learn more about Mountain Pet Rescue Asheville, including foster, adoption, volunteer and donation opportunities at MountainPetRescueAVL.org.