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Photographer captures homeless canines in pictures for exhibit in Demorest

'Landfill Dogs' on display until Feb. 25 at at Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art

POSTED: February 17, 2017 1:00 a.m.
/For Get Out

Zeta is one of the many dogs rescued because of the work of Raleigh artist Shannon Johnstone, whose photographs are on display at the Piedmont College Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art.

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Shannon Johnstone’s dog photographs may look like fun portraits of man’s best friend, but they are deadly serious.

“These are not cute pictures of dogs,” Johnstone said. “These are dogs who have been homeless for at least two weeks and now face euthanasia if they do not find a home.”

Each week, the Raleigh, N.C., artist brings one dog from the county animal shelter and photographs him or her at Landfill Park, a former landfill converted into a public park. However, the landscape offers a metaphor of hope, Johnstone said.

“It is a place of trash that has been transformed into a place of beauty,” she said. “I hope the viewer also sees the beauty in these homeless, unloved creatures.”

Johnstone is a tenured associate professor at Meredith College in Raleigh. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Masters of Fine Arts in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology.

“Landfill Dogs” has been featured in national and international exhibitions and magazines and was most notably on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and CNN.com. Her first book, “Landfill Dogs,” came out in November 2015.

“Landfill Dogs,” is on display for free now through Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Piedmont College Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art in Demorest. Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 567 Georgia St. in Demorest.

For more information, contact director Rebecca Brantley at rbrantley@piedmont.edu or call 706-894-4201 or visit landfilldogs.com.



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