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Artist turns dog icon into tiger mascot

April 21, 2019

SCOTTSBLUFF — The Paws 4 Paws fundraiser for Skipper’s Cupboard has assembled 36 local artists to paint a collection of poly-resin dog figures. The “painted pack” will go on display at the Weborg 21 Centre from 6:30-8 p.m. on April 25.

One of the featured artists is Beth Erdman, whose family lives on a small farm just outside of Lyman. With a daughter attending Mitchell Elementary School, Erdman stays active in the school community.

“I first learned about Skipper’s Cupboard when my daughter asked if we could purchase some dog food for a fundraiser called ‘Puppy Love’ at the school,” Erdman said. “Skipper’s Cupboard is a wonderful charity that offers support to people who are in need of pet food and supplies when times are tough. This year, the school donated nearly 500 pounds of pet food.”

When Skipper’s Cupboard announced its upcoming fundraiser to observe its 10th anniversary, Mitchell Elementary Principal Kirk Kuxhausen asked Erdman if she’d be interested in donating her time to paint one of the dogs.

What Erdman created was a Mitchell Tiger themed pup. On the tiger skin is a sports theme representing all the sports in which the school competes, from football to wrestling.

“I really enjoyed this project because it got me out of my typical artistic frame of mind. I usually only paint on canvas or paper,” Erdman said. “I’m painting a second pup that’s still in the works and will be ready for the exhibit.”

Erdman, a self-taught artist, got her inspiration from her brother, who’s also an artist. While her chosen media are pastels and acrylic, she’s also an avid photographer. Her work has been on display for schools, art groups and 4-H clubs. She currently has a display at the Daily Grind Coffeehouse in Gering.

The Paws 4 Paws fundraiser is the creation of Becky Hale and Steve Morgheim of Skipper’s Cupboard, now celebrating its 10th anniversary. The public is invited to the Weborg 21 Centre on April 25 to view the artists’ finished work.

Morgheim said the fundraiser is also an opportunity to showcase the outstanding talents of area artists and their original creations.

Featured artists include: Brandon Bailey, Priscilla Bailey-Sandoz, Jani Barger, Ryan Bosche, Shane Brumbaugh, Mason and Hailey Brumbaugh, Caitlyn Carter, Rodney Clause, Stephanie Bruns-Dadgostar, Michele Denton, Kerri Dishman, Beth Erdman, Rachelle Eversole, Diane Filing, Wade Friedlan, Kay Grote, Charla Maxwell Herbert, Doug Hoevet, Valerie Keenan, Yelena Khanevskaya, Tanya Klingsporn, Rose Mapel, Randall May, Jennifer Meisner, Julie Morrison, Julie Nighswonger, Tami Powell, Paige Schneider, Steve Settles, Becci Thomas, Debbi Thomas, Leigh Thompson, Donna Thompson, Jorge Martin Vargas, Bud Watson and Tracy Wilkes.

After the “painted pack” is revealed to the public, the pieces will go on tour, making appearances in the Oregon Trail Days Parade in Gering, Camp Clarke Days in Bridgeport, and at different public buildings around the area.

Paws 4 Paws wraps up on July 26 with a public auction of the dogs. Proceeds will help Skipper’s Cupboard in its mission to provide pet food for people in need.

Erdman said she welcomed the opportunity to use her talents for a good cause because Skipper’s Cupboard is near to her heart.

“Living on a farm, I have a love for all animals,” she said. “I know how expensive it can be to care for all those loved critters. I couldn’t imagine what people might do in a time of crisis when funds aren’t there to support their four-legged friends.”

jpurvis@starherald.com

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