Welcome to the Empathy Pawject
The Empathy Pawject aims to evoke empathy through the art, humane and character education. Through learning about adorable animals residing in shelters, and "putting themselves in someone else's shoes" children deepen their understanding of empathy all while raising awareness for animals in need. It's so very important to nurture kindness in children. They are innately kind but also susceptible to peer pressure, giving them a good base is a great way to ensure they stay strong and true to their selves!
- To use art as a way of inspiriting empathy within the children that I taught. It didn’t take me long to realize that this goal would be quickly met. I am a firm believer now that all children possess empathy and it is our job as educators to gently guide this knowledge to the surface.
- To combine art and humane education as a way to promote kindness to animals as well as raise awareness for shelter animals who so need and deserve loving homes.
- To give children a public platform to show their art. I read an article written by a wonderful artist and professor named Dr. Harold Pearse. The late Dr. Harold Pearse had a deep and impacting influence on my work. I had Dr. Pearse for a class at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. In his article Dr. Pearse talked about the importance of celebrating children’s art by displaying it publically. Reading this encouraged me to reach out to him and after a great conversation about art education and children’s art, I was determined to make this a part of my project. I will be forever thankful for the help and encouragement of Dr. Harold Pearse.
One goal I didn’t have on my list but became a huge and important gift that this project provided was to build community. From the beginning, Rachael
Rodgers, a Canmore based photographer, and well-known animal advocate has been a fantastic supporter and great help to this project. Rachael takes adoptable dogs on adventures and posts the beautiful images and stories to help raise awareness and promote adoption through shelters. I reached out to Rachael and she generously offered for me to use all of her photographs!
Next, I reached out to local animal shelters and soon after that another artist named Sophie Gamand who uses her talents to raise awareness for the mislabeled and demonized dog breeds through works such as Pit Bull Flower Power. Gamand agreed to answer a series of questions I had which helped me with my own research. Both Rodgers and Gamand’s books are also listed in the resource section of this website. It did not take long before these connections blossomed and webbed into new connections and before I knew it I had found a community of like-minded individuals who were passionate about animal advocacy, education, and art!