By Sabina Mollot
On Monday, November 12, Cauz for Pawz, a thrift shop that benefits animals, held its first art exhibition/benefit, showcasing animal-themed works by Mary Alice Orito.
Collages made from different kinds of paper ranging from the shredded insides of securitized envelopes to slick catalogues for furniture created fur, feathers and whiskers on portraits of dogs, cats and birds.
Digital paintings of cats were also on display along with throw pillows with images printed on them from the original pieces. While some of the art came down following the opening, other works from the show, “My Menagerie,” remain available for purchase at the shop.
Orito, a former two-term president of the National Association of Women Artists, ended up doing the benefit show after coming to the shop one day with some donated clothes. Liking the way the nonprofit store’s founder and director, Cathryn Duhigg, was wearing her hair, Orito snapped a photo of her, which she later turned into a digital portrait that now adorns the shop’s wall.
“She hung it up and everybody was responding to it,” Orito recalled, so Duhigg asked her to do a show onsite that kept to the store’s animal-friendly focus.
Normally, the store, located at 333 First Avenue, only sells clothing and jewelry with proceeds going to animal-related causes. A portion of the proceeds from the art show went to support Cauz for Pawz’s Five Borough Feeding Program, which supplies food to trap-and-release animal groups as well as pet owners in need.