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Artists Carolyn Bonier and Karen Harris stand near their artwork, including a sculpture of Lefty, Harris’ poodle, that will appear in the show. The show is a fundraiser for the MSPCA and will feature work by 16 local artists.

They ride in cars with us. We take them shopping with us. Yes, we even take them on

airplanes with us.

But there’s at least one place you can’t take your pet: the “Hair of the Dog” art show, wine and beer tasting this weekend.

“It would be pandemonium. We love them, but we don’t want them there,” said Karen Van-Welden Herman of Andover, an artist and co-organizer of the event, which drew nearly 400 people last year. She expects an even bigger turnout this weekend.

The show of mainly animal-themed art is a fundraiser for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Nevins Farm shelter in Methuen. Proceeds from ticket sales and 10 percent of art sales will go to the MSPCA and eventually the animals it houses and rescues.

“Hair of the Dog” started three years ago as a wine and beer tasting in Andover. Andover’s Shawsheen Village Liquors owners Sheri and Michael Helman approached the MSPCA about a fundraiser, and the first tasting was held at Bark of the Town grooming salon in Andover.

“(The Helmans) adopted their dog from the MSPCA and wanted to give back, which is, I think, just a great thing,” said Nevins Farm spokeswoman Jill O’Connell. “The money goes to helping with our general operation and different funds. For example, we have our Angels for Animals fund, which (pays for) animals in need of medical care and general vaccinations.”

After the success of the first “Hair of the Dog,” the following year Van Welden-Herman, a customer of the Helmans, and fellow Andover artist Diane Grieco organized the artists of Off Broadway Studios in Lawrence to help with the fundraiser, which was held at the artists’ loft complex along with the tasting component provided by the Helmans, who live in North Andover. Almost $10,000 was raised at the event.

“It was really successful — we had about 400 people come out for it, the day before the flood,” said Van Welden-Herman, who adopted her cat Ursula from the MSPCA.

This year, the four teamed up again — this time with the help of the Essex Art Center — to mount an evening tasting as well as a two-day show featuring paintings, sculptures, prints and jewelry.

The UU Band, a Chicago-style blues band with a rock ‘n’ roll edge, will perform at tomorrow night’s tasting, which will feature about 40 wines and 12 beers.

“We look for wines that are thematic, have some sort of a tie-in to animals,” said Michael Helman, whose selection includes reds and whites from Chateau La Paws, made by a veterinarian turned vintner, and Barossa Jack, named for a Jack Russell terrier who also appears on the label. Stone Cat beers from the Mercury Brewing Co. in Ipswich are also on the menu.

“Good quality is our first concern. There are plenty of (wines and beers) with animals on the label that are not the right theme and the right quality,” he said.

Putting the art component together at least was easy, said Van Welden-Herman.

“Artists love to show their work and everybody loves the MSPCA,” she said.









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