My Dogs Are Barking

Edgar Tolson (American, 1904-1984) Rock Dog, ca. 1945 Carved and painted limestone 30 x 15 1/2 x 24 in. (76.2 x 39.37 x 60.96 cm) Milwaukee Art Museum, The Michael and Julie Hall Collection of American Folk Art M1989.312 Photo credit John Nienhuis

The animals in the Uncommon Folk exhibition range from wild to domestic, prehistoric to contemporary, whimsical to sober, and miniature to life-size. Each sculpture effectively captures the essence of the animal. View and discuss the animal sculptures with regard to their characteristics and potential symbolism.







Directions: A mascot is an animal or a person used by a group as a sign of good luck. Your school’s sports teams may have a mascot.

Create a mascot as a class, in pairs or individually. Begin by thinking about popular animal sayings. For instance: water off a duck’s back, prickly as a porcupine, and my dogs are barking. Decide on the trait, or personal characteristic, the mascot will display.

Write the trait. Next, study the animals from the exhibition as inspiration. Select an animal to draw. As a reminder, the choice of animal should relate to the chosen trait. Notice the outline of the animal’s body and other details. Practice by making sketches. Extend the experience at school, by creating the animal as a drawing, painting, or sculpture, and then display it for others to see. The mascot may be cartoonlike or realistic—the options are endless.

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