- Lisa Tighe
- Anna Hamilton
Anna Hamilton was never one to like blank walls. With a passion for public murals she found herself brainstorming one night with Skip French, the owner of Skip's Bar and Grill in Dunedin, about what to paint on the side of his building. Skip suggested a simple scene with a bench and a dog; but since they were both deeply involved in the Dunedin Doggie Rescue, one dog just wouldn't do. Anna set out to paint several dogs but when the word got out in the community, the idea went viral. People from all over came up to her with photographs and a story about their dog. She thought she would be able to paint, at most, 50 dogs on the side of the building. She ended up painting 500 dogs, cats, birds and other creatures including one flying pig.
Now Anna has teamed up with a fellow volunteer of Dunedin Doggie Rescue, Dawn Carney whose background is in Marketing and Public Relations to start a new project in downtown St Petersburg. Murals for Mutts is an organization that is accepting donations and photographs of your best friend to be painted on the side of the Gas Plant Antique Arcade on the corner of Central Avenue and 13th Street. Her goal is to paint 1000 dogs on the west face of the building but the owner has already given her two thumbs up to continue the project on other sides of the building if she needs it.
When I caught up with her she was just finishing painting the seventh dog on the expansive four story wall. Each dog (or cat, bird, gerbil, etc., whether a rescue or not) is painted to life size. The price depends on how big the animal is. For a small animal that weighs 25 pounds or less, the price is $100; for an animal that is 26 to 60 pounds, the price is $125 and for an animal that weighs 61 pounds or over, the price is $175. A portion of the profits will benefit a local animal rescue organization.
It's a project that is getting high praises from those who live and work in the area. On May 7th, Ferg's Sports Bar and Grill, located at 1320 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg will host a fundraising party for Murals for Mutts from 3 to 7 p.m. Entertainment will be by DJ Madman Mac and various prizes will be raffled off including Ferg's merchandise, Ray's tickets and a spot on the wall for your beloved four-legged friend.