Puppy Project brings community, art together

“Magnolias on Bulldog” created by Claire Sanders

By Kylie Neel

Puppies in jerseys, puppies in Mardi Gras beads, puppies with flowers and so much more were on display Thursday night for Ruston Cultural District’s Bulldog Block Party and Puppy Project Auction.

The Puppy Project was an enhanced opportunity to use small bulldog statues as a canvas for local artists to decorate for the silent auction. Area artists were eligible to spontaneously paint the molded bulldog in any way they saw fit.

Tori Davis, president of the Ruston Cultural District, works for Experience Ruston and assisted with the Puppy Project.

“The bulldog is a symbol of pride for our whole area and to be able to have something we can claim as our own is something far greater,” Davis said.  “The Puppy Project was something we started back in 2018, and it might become more of an annual thing for us”.

Davis said individuals outside of the parish actually assisted in the idea for the project.

“This year’s puppy project started by having a friend in New York mold a mini bulldog and she sent us over 50 casted mini bulldogs for this event,” she said. 

Thursday’s Puppy Project auction took place at Walker and Co., located at 107 W. Mississippi Ave. with the Bulldog Block Party — which also featured music and a food truck — encouraging participants to stick around and join in the fun as the 50 painted puppies started auction bids at $50. 

Fifty percent of each of the puppy proceeds went back to the artist, and the rest supported Ruston Cultural District.

 “The Ruston Cultural District is a nonprofit group of volunteers that brings opportunities for local artists like the puppy project,” Davis said. “This project is a beautiful marriage.”

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