Animals Galore

Friday night I attended the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) annual awards dinner. I was there to root for my many friends in the design community, particularly Gus Hinojosa and his team at Hinojosa Architecture & Interiors. They won top prize in the Design Excellence Award Institutional and Educational Category for the new SPCA of Texas facility. From first-hand experience, I can tell you it’s a beautiful building with an interior design that invites people and animals.

Hinojosa Architecture & Interiors | Dallas, Texas 
Winner of 2012 IIDA Design Excellence Award 
SCPA of Texas | Dallas

This building and the good works done at the SPCA and Dallas Animal Services (both on N. Westmoreland Road off I-30) inspired me to adopt (rescue) two kittens last week from the shelter. Here are the new furry additions to my home. Welcome “Midnight” and “Reuben.”

“Midnight” | The black short-haired cat is a very lively spirit. He thinks my house is an Indy 500 race track.

“Reuben” | Ruddy short-haired cat. With a more reserved personality, Reuben hid in a clothes closet for two days.

And, there was another animal-related activity this week.  My website was revised to include examples of the animal paintings I have done over the years. Click here for the new gallery tab.

Many of these paintings were commissioned.

The English Bulldog, “Lola,” was a surprise gift from a husband to his wife to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.  And, “Lily,” a St. Bernard, was a “just because I love you gift” from another husband to his wife.

English Bulldog “Lola” | acrylic on panel | 24” x 13-1/2” Private commission | Tampa, Florida
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick

St. Bernard “Lily” | acrylic on canvas | 20” x 24”  
Private commission | Sarasota, Florida
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick

After I had finished another St. Bernard portrait, commissioned by a Massachusetts couple, I painted “Doggie Day Care” (see below) for the fun of it.  The owners told me where they boarded their dog during the day while they were at work. The place took only Black Labs, Bernese Mountain Dogs and St. Bernards.  Intrigued with camera in-hand, I visited the daycare center. The source image for the painting below is a small section of one photo, tightly cropped because I liked the composition and how the dogs formed a carnival conga line and smiled at me.

“Doggie Day Care” | acrylic on canvas | 44” x 44”
Available (price on request)
Artist: Meg Fitzpatrick

Until next week, enjoy your animals, families, friends and the Olympics Closing Ceremony tonight.

Meg

Architecture SPCA: Designing for a Good Cause

Like me, maybe you have been driving West on I-30 from Dallas towards Fort Worth wondering about the bright blue tower and construction site at the Hampton Road exit. Here’s the scoop: This beauty is the new Dallas SPCA Animal Care and Adoption Center which houses the most adorable animals – dogs and cats of all ages, a bunny rabbit and several guinea pigs – in a spatial concept new and revolutionary to the world of public animal shelters.

Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center: SCPA Exterior | Dallas, Texas | Architects: Hinojosa Architects & Interiors Designs (photo: Hinojosa Architects)

Gus Hinojosa, AIA, Managing Principal, and his team at Hinojosa Architects and Interiors (HAI) incorporated design ideas and research from the veterinarian and retail industries to improve the adoption experience and foster healthier animals. Functional and aesthetic details shaped all areas for the rescued animals, wellness and spay/neuter services, medical wing and surgery suite.

The SPCA is another example of why I believe good (meaning excellent) design and architecture make a positive difference in our lives, and sometimes our pets. Dallas’ newest SPCA shows off the animals. The sunny, colorful place welcomes you to stay and play. In this space, I sense the animals are honored guests; and maybe, if I could read their minds, they would agree. HAI’s vision from the start was to “re-define the standard animal shelter from a depressing experience into one which is enjoyable and enlightening.”

Aren’t I cute puppy? I like my candy-colored dog bed.

At last night’s reception, I experienced this concept with other admirers, and will be back to scout out the cats in their cool condos. I’m in the market for the right furball fit. When you visit, admire the modern design of the scratching posts, notice the signage graphics and sit on a banquette covered with fabrics by William Wegman, the artist best known for his Weimaraner photographs.

Even in the world of non-profits, good causes and architectural design, there’s always a bottom-line consideration. Happily, the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center response to-date is working as seen on January 2nd, the first day of operation, when 24 animals were adopted and yesterday when 35+ animals found new homes.