New Book Unleashes SB Artists and Their Dogs

By Scott Craig   |   September 28, 2021
Jean-Marie Hamel and QTER

Read about the natural bond between dogs and artists in a new book, Santa Barbara Artists and Their Dogs, and see portraits of them in an exhibition through December 18 in the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art’s downstairs gallery. The Art Council of the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art created the book, which will be available for purchase for $32.33 (including tax) September 24-25 from 12-8 pm and September 26 from 12-4 pm at REH GraySpace Art Gallery, 219 Gray Avenue, in Santa Barbara. The gallery will also feature an exhibition of dog portraits by Santa Barbara artists. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed at the book launch. For more information, please contact the museum at or (805) 565-6162.

“Whether the dog is a muse, a model, a companion, or a therapist, artists and dogs have forged deep attachments for centuries,” says Judy L. Larson, R. Anthony Askew professor of art history and museum director. “Our canine pals add so much to the enjoyment of life and serve as a prompt to live in the moment.”

Kerrie Smith, creative director of Santa Barbara Artists and Their Dogs and Arts Council president, spearheaded the creation of the book, which includes portraits of each of the 70 artists with their canine companions as well as short, touching, and often humorous essays.  

“We hope we inspire readers to adopt a dog and enjoy the love and affirmation that comes from being one of the pack,” Larson says.

Hank Pitcher and Lefty

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