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Artist Paints Doglike Canvas to Benefit Mountain Humane
Saturday, July 9, 2022


Twenty years after the Summer of Labs, Martine Drackett found herself painting another Labrador.

Drackett spent part of the summer painting pieces of driftwood on a fiberglass lab that she is donating  to Mountain Humane to be auctioned off at its Paws Up Party, a fundraising event on Wednesday, July 13.

The invitation-only event at the animal welfare campus benefits homeless animals of the Wood River Valley, while helping to fund other services for pet owners, such as dog training.

Drackett named her painted lab Drifter because, she says, it’s a rescue dog.

“We love dogs and whoever comes to Sun Valley better love them because they’re all over,” she said.

Sun Valley turned into a lab-oratory of sorts 20 years ago as Lyn Stallard and Terry Tischer invited artists to paint larger-than-life fiberglass Labradors to be auctioned off for the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley.

A Tromp l’oeil artist, Drackett painted a Labrador Dali, a take on surrealist Salvador Dali. She also painted a Candle-LAB-ra, topping the dog with a candelabra. Other artists painted such things as a Photo Lab and Labrinardo da Vinci.

The labs were set up around town and tourists given maps to go on the Labrador trail. It was fitting since Averell Harriman, who founded Sun Valley Resort, introduced labs to the Untied States in the early 1900s for hunting purposes.

Many of the labs painted for Summer of Labs event flaunted flamboyant colors. Drackett elected to go with more muted greys and whites this time in case the Lab’s new owner might want to put him in their home or on a garden terrace.

Drackett loved working on the unusual canvas of the Lab, which is four feet long and 39 inches high.

“It was so fun. I love these labs and find painting on this shape quite interesting. It’s certainly an adventure,” she said. “I even have to paint the stomach in case someone might want to display the dog somewhere where others can see their belly.”


Mountain Humane will hold a three-day 50th anniversary celebration Sept. 23-25 that will include a costume party for dogs.

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