Way back in October 2008, I was contacted by Patrick P* about a project he was putting together called 'Dogs In School'. This Saturday it's all finally coming together.
The concept is lovely: When they were kids, Patrick and his brothers and sisters would constantly be asking their parents 'what should I draw?' The responses they'd get would usually be satisfying enough to keep them busy until teatime, or at least until they reached for the next piece of paper. On one particular day, however, Patrick's Mum gave them a topic that would go on to eclipse all others - 'dogs in school'.
The resulting drawings, especially one by Patrick's brother, Mike, captured Mr & Mrs P's imagination so much that, from that day, the only response they would ever give to the question 'what should I draw?' would be 'dogs in school'. Patrick says that they drew hundreds of variations over the years. 'Dogs in school' became a family legend and an in-joke that would keep them laughing for years.
Fast forward to 2008, with both his parents unwell, Patrick decided to start on a secret project to surprise them with. He got in touch with a bunch of artists and asked them to interpret 'dogs in school' in any manner they liked. Over the past couple of years he has collected all of the work and has put together an exhibition set to open this weekend in Portland. The best part is that both his parents are now in good health, are able to attend the opening, and still know nothing about it!
So, if you're anywhere near Portland, visit the Screaming Sky Gallery between the 30th January and the 25th February to catch the Dogs In School show! Also, on this coming Saturday (30th Jan), there will be a party at the space featuring a charity auction for Project Grow and live acoustic performances by Jim Fairchild of Grandaddy / Modest Mouse, Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse & The Shins and Nate Lacy of Mimicking Birds. Holy Moly!
I have a little drawing in the exhibition. I'm really excited to see and hear how it all goes down. For more info visit www.dogsinschool.com
* I've not given Patrick's full name as he has let it be known that both his parents are active online. I sure as hell don't want to be the one letting the cat out the bag.