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A new exhibit at the Lacoste Gallery in Concord is attracting an out-of-the-ordinary audience: canine visitors.
These furry passersby have been gravitating to the gallery's wide picture windows facing Concord Center because they see dozens of ceramic versions of themselves inside — and, at least initially, seem to think they're living, breathing animals.
"What is fascinating for me to watch is the reaction of the dogs because the dogs think [the artworks] are real," says Ronnie Gould, the Bedford artist who made the sculptures on display at the Lacoste. "But then they trust their sense of smell much more than they eyes and they'll take a sniff and they'll go, 'Oh no!'"
Gould's show, which runs through June 21, is called "All Dogs" because it's just that: an exhibit consisting entirely of ceramic dogs. It features dozens of breeds — chihuahuas, Italian greyhounds, beagles, West Highland terriers, French bulldogs, German shepherds, even one of the most primitive dogs of all: the wolf. Some of the sculptures are based on portraits, and others show the animals exhibiting typical dog behavior, like scratching an ear or playing frisbee.
"For me, it's very often about the eyes — capturing the soul," Gould says. "They look at you and they just have their personality. Dogs, I always feel like, are the only creature on Earth that ever chose to live with people. I mean, cats let us perhaps live with them, but dogs really want to be with us, and they're always watching. If you own a dog, you know they've always looking at you, they're waiting for that next moment. And that's what I try to capture in a lot of these."
Asked if she has a personal favorite in the exhibit, Gould replied: "That's really hard to say. Each one has a different element about it that I'm really happy about, from the Dalmatian with the way the spots work to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with its ears to the spaniel with the texture and standing on three legs. So I can't say. Sorry guys — no favorites. I love you all! It's like a mother with a bunch of kids, you know? You're not going to pick a favorite. You've got to love them all."
WBUR's Sacha Pfeiffer got a tour of the show this week from Gould, who explained why her animal artworks are very close to her heart.
Ronnie Gould, artist
This segment aired on June 11, 2014.