Eileen Gizara
Suffolk Humane Society
757-538-3030 or 757-320-9763

Unique Treasures at 2016 Paws for the Arts: Cancer Survivor’s Hobby Turns Children’s Toys to 3-D Art.

Suffolk, VA -January 16, 2016 - Wonderful treasures will abound at the third annual Paws for the Arts, hosted by the Suffolk Humane Society and Hilton Garden Inn Riverfront on Saturday, February 7 2016 from 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront, 100 E. Constance Rd, Suffolk. Tickets are on sale now for $50 and can be purchased at Mike Duman Auto Sales, 2300 Godwin Blvd, Suffolk, and at the Suffolk Humane Society office, 4300 Nansemond Parkway, Suffolk and online at This semi-formal event will feature heavy hors d’oeurves, wine and cash bars, a silent auction, a live auction, and musical entertainment by local artists. One of the unique items available this year is a lovingly restored, handcrafted three-dimensional art piece that formerly enjoyed life as a child’s toy horse barn.

Amy Wilkerson, the 3-D horse barn artist/miniaturist, is a breast cancer survivor and manages the surface characterization labs at the Applied Research Center for the College of William and Mary. Her work involves investigating the properties of materials down to the Nano scale, and she also pursues her fascination with the miniature through her hobby of restoring doll houses, which she considers her therapy. Wilkerson believes in second chances and believes her recovery was her personal second chance and that her therapeutic hobby gives these previously loved children’s toys a second life as 3-dimensional art.

“I love animals and have two rescued cats. I give a doll houses a new life, and I saw this as a way to help raise money for an organization that works so hard to give homeless pets another chance,” said Wilkerson. “My husband and I have attended the event, and I thought I would get involved in a more personal way this year.”

Wilkerson often rescues doll houses from yard sales, estate sales, etc. She and her husband, Harry Eller, gently restore them to better than their former glory. She found the dilapidated old handcrafted doll horse barn at a yard sale. Harry constructed the fencing, installed lighting, and helped with other repairs. She meticulously restored the barn and began collecting the contents, down to the most minute detail, complete with horses, tack room, hay, garden hose, and even a wolf lurking nearby. She will provide the highest bidder with a photo book detailing the story behind each piece and how the barn was given a second chance and new life as art.

Other auction treasures include one of a kind art created by the following artists: C. Edward Vann, Neil Duman, Robbie Garrity, Acara Phipps, Ruthanne Miller, Dorey Ficklin, Jackie Sharp, Fiona Baxley, Nancy Kinzinger, and so many more.

In addition, other unique items include an unpainted Norfolk mermaid, OBX Beach House stay, Norfolk Tides VIP suite with full catering, a pizza a week for one year from Amicis, gift certificates from The Catering Place, Suffolk Animal Hospital, Brewing Station OBX and much more.

Monet Masterpiece sponsors to date include: Mike Duman Auto Sales, Ray Batton/Jani-King of Hampton Roads, and Edward Jones - Office of Margie Wiley.

“This event grows more successful each year, and we believe this year's attendees will find the same level of excellent art work and items up for auction,” says Rhonda Jones, director of events and vice-president, board of directors, for Suffolk Humane Society. “Art lovers and animals lovers can come together, have fun as well as support Suffolk Humane’s mission to help animals and improve our community. There is still time to become a sponsor or donate to the event. We are expecting a larger crowd this year, and we promise lots of fun. We encourage people to buy their tickets now and plan on a wonderful evening.”

The Suffolk Humane Society is dedicated to promoting the welfare of companion animals in the community through sponsoring spay/neuter programs, placing homeless animals in loving permanent homes, and providing quality humane education with an emphasis on responsible pet ownership. Visit each week to get the latest information about the group’s activities and to view the up-to-date photos of the adoptable animals at Suffolk Humane and at Suffolk Animal Care Center, 124 Forest Glen Drive, Suffolk (757-514-7855). Suffolk Humane receives no funds from any agency, is not affiliated with any other group and is solely dependent on donations for its programs. Call Suffolk Humane 757-538-3030 for more information.