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2024 Masters of Domestic Animal Art, International Juried Art Exhibition

Polo Player,  by Julie Freund, painting of aa horse in full polo harnessing with part of the human rider visible
Polo Player, by Julie Freund

Congratulations to all of our amazing domestic animal artists! We received entries from across the world and are thrilled to show you this juried collection of animal art.

This is our second Masters of Domestic Animal Art virtual exhibition. Entries ranged from sculpture to photography to paintings and more. Please, enjoy this group exhibition that combines art styles from a wide range of artists.

It is the goal of Wild Heart Gallery to support and promote animal and wildlife artwork in a wide range of genres and styles.

Artwork for this exhibition was selected by jury based on theme, originality, skill, and quality of work. Jurors were Sarah Soward, Sharon Eisley, Ashli Kingfisher, and Rebecca Findlay.

Awards: Best in Show, Overall Runner Up, Artivism Award, Overall Honorable Mentions, and Finalists.

Click on an image below to enlarge it.



Polo Player,  by Julie Freund
Julie Freund

Polo Player, by Julie Freund 36 x 48 inches, Oil on Canvas

From the artist, "Focusing on a fully tacked up polo pony with its rider just out of view, I invite viewers to experience the anticipation and energy of the game. The vibrant colors, dynamic composition, and meticulous attention to detail convey the power and sophistication of these majestic equine athletes."

The rhythm of light and shadow and of line and shape in this are hypnotic. It is an excellently composed painting, full of potential energy both in composition and in subject matter. The colors are rich and transition smoothly through the value scale. It is a well-conceived and beautifully executed piece of art.

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My Little Pony, by Cher Pruys, hyper realistic painting of a little girl asleep on her pony.
Cher Pruys

My Little Pony, by Cher Pruys 8 x 7.25 inches, Acrylic on 300LB Hot Press

From the artist, "Wee Soraya has fallen asleep on her pony in the warm sunshine."

Hyper-realism combined with an unusual composition and masterful texture replication make this painting very satisfying to look at. The change in sharp focus in the foreground to soft focus in the background is subtle and effective. The contrast in the flattened grass/straw beneath the pony's feet draws the eye down and is effectively counteracted by the areas of color on the girl at the top o the paintings. The pony firmly holds up, not only the little girl, but also the painting by being an intermediary between ground and girl in metaphor and in art.

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Leicester Sheep, by Terri Cournoyer, painting of a sheep in profile
Terri Cournoyer

Leicester Sheep, by Terri Cournoyer 9 x 12 inches, Acrylic on stretched canvas 

From the artist, "Leicester sheep are regal and sophisticated animals."

A few may wonder how a sheep portrait came to be the winner of our Artivism Award. It's quite simple. In many cultures, calling someone a sheep or sheeplike is used as an insult. The truth of the matter is that sheep are, as the artist states above, sophisticated. They deserve recognition as the intelligent and sociable creatures they are. This painting portrays a sense of awareness that sheep are not often credited with.

  1. a number of prefrontal lobe executive functions considered on par with primates

  2. considerable capacity to distinguish and identify faces of other sheep as well as humans

  3. a range of simple to complex emotions, including judgement bias and forms of emotional contagion

  4. distinct personalities

  5. strong mother-offspring bonds and relationships that shape social groupings beyond food availability and distribution.

To read the entire document, click here. Sections 5-9 are particularly informative.



Congratulations to our Overall Honorable Mention winners, Cher Pruys, Ginko Bergel, Laura Green, Tanya Finch, Ira DellaMonica, Julie Freund, and Anne Thomsen.



Congratulations to our award Finalists, Ginko Bergel Carlton Brumbelow, Brianna Newton, Julie Freund, Trish Weisenstein, Anne Thomsen, Margaret Ebdon, Darlene Holman, Elena Ansaloni, Kelly Graves, and Ira DellaMonica.


Selected Works

There are a handful of entries that we decided deserved recognition here in our Selected Works section. Wild Heart Gallery sometimes adds a selection of non-awarded artwork that we love so much we simply had to show.

Congratulations to our Selected Artworks artists, Ginko Bergel, Brittany Lemmon, Darlene Holman, Gillian Weddle, Ira DellaMonica, Emma Vitallo, Gro Anita Eriksen, and Megan Colby.


Best in Show receives $100 cash award and promotion on the following: Art Week, Wild Heart Gallery’s (WHG's) growing social media and other online media channels, WHG's eNewsletter, and WHG's home page (for duration of the exhibition).

All award recipients receive promotion on Wild Heart Gallery’s (WHG's) growing social media/other online media channels and WHG's eNewsletter and inclusion in a virtual group exhibition that lasts at least one month.

This art exhibition was juried by Sarah Soward, Sharon Eisley, Ashli Kingfisher, and Rebecca Findlay.



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