Cheshire Dog Photo By Dylan Miller * Dog Created by Tony Curanaj

››While it’s not uncommon to see dogs throughout town on any given day, on Tuesday, June 15th, Ridgefield residents and visitors began to see painted dog statues appear all over town. Sponsored by familiar businesses and created by many talented local artists, the arrival of these dogs was the result of many long months of planning.

“I never imagined the level of success we would have from a first-time event,” said Dee Dee Colabella, Founder and Board President of ArtFul Visual Arts Initiative, Inc., a local nonprofit 501c(3) charitable organization. “I think the biggest challenge was getting this event off the ground as the pandemic was raging while ArtFul and the concept were both still unknown.”

Since then, the dogs have been lifting smiles all over town; from Super Dog and Wonder Dog in front of Fairfield County Bank Insurance, Identity Crisis (the dog that wants to be a cat) in front of the Ridgefield Pet on Danbury Road, and Keller Williams Puppy Litter located in front of Keller Williams on Main Street. “Whenever someone stops, they have a big smile on their face,” said Colabella.

As each dog arrived at their summer homes, the start of the online auction began which has generated a tremendous amount of interest. A bidding war has started on almost all the Keller Williams Realty puppy litter and “Tiffany”, the sitting labrador, is also a community favorite. The best part of the event is bringing the community together, support local artists and businesses, all while giving back to our local organizations.

“Remember, this is for charity (ROAR, The RGOA, and ArtFul) so keep on bidding,” said Colabella. “Don’t forget to thank the sponsors of these amazing dogs, especially our Title Sponsor Guardian Veterinarian Specialists in Brewster, NY, and our Champion Sponsors Pamby and Fairfield County Bank.” Each dog has a nameplate with a QR code to scan and will direct you to the online auction site right on your phone!

On September 18th, ArtFul will close out the dog days of summer with a scavenger hunt from 12 pm to 5 pm where various decorated mini dachshunds will be hosted by local businesses.

Finally, the dogs will find their “fur-ever” homes at the Leader of the Pack event on September 25th to be held at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. 

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