Here’s news from the Larchmont Library:
The Larchmont Public Library joins forces with the New Rochelle Humane Society this July and August to help call attention to the number of cats in our local area that need homes. The centerpiece for the Library’s cat celebration will be photographer Elisabeth Pollaert Smith’s exhibit, “Shelter Cats”, on display in the Library’s Oresman Gallery from July 1, through August 30, 2013. The exhibit is free and open to everyone during normal library hours.
“Shelter Cats” is more than just an exhibit of photographs of cats as the photos in the exhibit call attention to cats that are available in our local area for adoption from the New Rochelle Humane Society. According to recent ASPCA statistics, nearly 2.8-million cats are euthanized every year in the United States. The Library, in tandem with the Humane Society and Pollaert Smith, are hopeful that more cats will find homes as a result of the exhibit and related events. Cats make terrific pets for young and old alike and the latest research points to how beneficial having a pet cat can be.
According to USA Today: “Research shows that being able to care for a pet improves our morale, helps validate us and encourages us to take care of ourselves,” says Rebecca Johnson, director of the University of Missouri’s Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction. “Is one pet better for you than another? A cat can’t make you healthier by begging with leash in mouth to go out for a jog, but a purr can lower blood pressure and quiet a stressed-out brain, research shows. And they insist on compassion. They’re enforcers,” Johnson says. “A dog will let you bang it on the head and still love you. A cat won’t do that. Children have to learn to be gentle to cats or the cat will go away.”
The celebration culminates on Saturday, July 27, with several events scheduled at the library. The events begin with a program for children called “Be a Tree for a Rowdy Dog; Be a Bush for a Kitten”, presented for children ages 5 and up by Professor Bob Meyer. Meyer, an ambassador for the Humane Society, will present little-known, interesting facts about cats (and dogs) and provide kids with a better understanding of our most popular pets. Meyer’s presentation is scheduled to begin at 11:30am in the Children’s Room at the Library.
Following Professor Meyer’s program, The New Rochelle Humane Society will be at the library hosting “Cat Adoption Day” from 12:00noon through 4:00pm in conjunction with a reception for Ms. Pollaert Smith scheduled from 2:30pm to 4:00pm in the Oresman Gallery. Various cats will be available for adoption and since recently adopted cats are the subject of Pollaert Smith’s photographs, those inclined to adopt will have the opportunity to own a professional cat portrait as well. All of the photography in the exhibit is for sale and will be sold via a silent auction with the proceeds going to the Humane Society. Cat Adoption Day and the reception for Ms. Pollaert Smith are free and everyone is welcome.
Pollaert Smith, a former international corporate lawyer, began photographing seriously almost a decade ago. She has studied photography at the London College of Printing in the United Kingdom and at the International Center of Photography in both New York and New Mexico. She is a four-time finalist for Popular Photography magazine’s “Your Best Shot” competition, and a finalist in the World Wildlife Fund’s, “Life Grows On” competition, and is represented by Getty Images. She also teaches photography in Mamaroneck, NY, and participated in the Larchmont Historical Society’s “Day in the Life of Larchmont” exhibit, in Larchmont, NY. She is a member of the Mamaroneck Artists’ Guild and the Southern Vermont Arts Center and has been a Larchmont resident for just over five years.
Pollaert Smith’s photography ranges across many subjects including travel photography, portraits and, of course, cats. Her influences are driven by what she is trying to convey in each of her photographs. In her travel work, she is trying to convey a sense of place; what it feels like to be there. In portraits, she seeks to convey something about the personality of the subject. With the shelter cats, the photographer attempted to capture different elements of each cat’s personality. She knows all of the cats fairly well from working with them through her association with the New Rochelle Humane Society. Thus she knows who the class clown is, who is shy but sweet, who is a crazy ball of energy, who is a little suspicious at first, and who just loves to sit and be snuggled. By attempting to capture what is special about each cat, she has created a comes-to-life portrait of each cat photographed.
Her photography has appeared in juried exhibitions and solo exhibits throughout New England as well as in California and Florida. She has worked for many impressive and well-known clients including NBC Universal, Saatchi & Saatchi, Elle Magazine, Reader’s Digest, MTV Networks, Conde Nast Americas/Vogue, ABC News, American Airlines, Renault, the National Hockey League, National Magazine Company/Hearst, The Sunday Times, Brides Magazine, Simon & Schuster, McGraw Hill, The Telegraph Media Group, Viacom Media Networks and Variety Magazine.
For more information about Elisabeth Pollaert Smith, visit her online at www.elisabethpollaert.com.
Founded in 1911, the New Rochelle Humane Society is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing individual loving care for lost, abandoned, injured, and mistreated animals. The Society services 17 communities in Westchester County including Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Elmsford, Greenburgh, Harrison, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Larchmont, Mamaroneck Village, New Rochelle, Pelham, Pelham Manor, Rye, Rye Brook, Scarsdale and Tarrytown, and rescue over 500 dogs and 900 cats each year. For information about the New Rochelle Humane Society, visit www.newrochellehumanesociety.org.
For more information about the exhibit and for exhibit hours, call the library at (914) 834-2281 or visit the library online at www.larchmontlibrary.org.