Four-legged and furry friends are the featured subject ongoing at this month’s DeSoto County Arts Council exhibit. Now through May 30, the works of Terri Massey will be on display at 2465 Highway 51 South, in Hernando.

Massey ventured into pet portraits during the past year while stuck at home due to COVID-19. 

“In March of last year, I got really bored,” said Massey. “I put out a Facebook post, offering to paint whimsical pet portraits. I thought I might get a handful. To date I’ve painted over 100.”

Massey became more aware of the plight animals in shelters face through her sister’s involvement. Massey wanted to help.

“I started painting and donating to the animal shelters locally,” Massey continued. “I gave 100 percent for a year.”

Randy Martin, president of the DeSoto County Arts Council, presented Massey with an art grant to continue her work during the exhibit opening Saturday. In the past year, Massey’s work has benefited the Hernando Animal Shelter. With the grant Massey plans to grow her efforts.

“Through my work I’ve been supporting local animal shelters in Hernando, Senatobia and Horn Lake,” said Massey. “I want to expand the project and help other shelters just beyond this local area. This grant will go a long way to purchase supplies and work toward that goal.”

Ken James volunteers at the Hernando Animal Shelter and attended Saturday’s exhibit opening. He expressed what ongoing needs there were at the shelter.

James fills in as a volunteer as often as he can at the shelter.

“I’ve volunteered since 2018,” said James. “Our biggest need is that we have a shelter that is very small, outdated, and very makeshift. We are trying to raise money to build a new shelter and adequate care for the dogs we bring in.”

Other representatives from the shelter were present with animals that were available for adoption on Saturday.

Artist Ann Burton was also present Saturday at the open house presenting a live artist’s demonstration of pet sketches.

A commissioned pet portrait was also raffled off during the open house with the proceeds going to the Hernando Animal Shelter.

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