Illustrator Karen Sandstrom Draws Inspiration from Pet Rescue Stories

"Jeff and Preston" [courtesy: Karen Sandstrom]
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Pet lovers are suckers for animal stories, especially when it's about a rescue. 

Knowing that, local illustrator and former Plain Dealer book editor Karen Sandstrom has combined that with her love of storytelling and artistic talent.

It's all on view in the Heights Arts exhibit, "Such Agreeable Friends," about the relationship between people and animals.

The show features illustrations from Sandstrom's "Rescue Pet Project," featuring portraits of people and their rescue animals combined with text telling their stories.

"Katy and Happy" [courtesy: Karen Sandstrom]

"People who rescue animals seem to have this special bond," Sandstrom explained.  "It's really an excuse for me to hear stories and record the essence of this relationship they have with animals."

One of the stories in the exhibit is about the president and CEO of the Cleveland Animal Protective League Sharon Harvey and her rescue dog Wilbur.

"Sharon and Wilbur" [courtesy: Karen Sandstrom]

"[Wilbur] was a rescue from a hoarding situation and was this incredibly cute, little dog who wore a diaper all the time because of the injuries that he came out of that rescue situation with," Sandstrom said.

The project is not limited to dogs as there are rescue chickens as well.

"A couple of chickens were taken from the egg farms. Once a hen reaches two years of age they're done in the big egg industry," she said.

"Robin, Gena and the Birds" [courtesy: Karen Sandstrom]

Sandstrom met Robin and Gena from Port Clinton who agreed to take two of the chickens rescued from the slaughterhouse.

"They make homes for chickens," she said.

Karen Sandstrom [photo: ideastream]

Karen Sandstrom's exhibit of illustrations, "Such Agreeable Friends," is on view at Heights Arts May 10 - June 23.


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