"Art to stir the conscience of our nation for the emergence of a compassionate generation." 

Artist, Mark Barone, has created a stirring collection of 5500 portraits of shelter dogs, (illustrating the approximate number destroyed everyday) and works with his partner, Marina Dervan, to run their charity (An Act of Dog) that's using the power of art for social change. PBS have been filming their journey for an upcoming documentary and Oprah is covering them next!

Their ultimate goal is to create a "Museum of Compassion" to house these paintings and provide an interactive platform & international educational center to engage kids from schools/universities in participating in creating purpose driven artwork.

Currently, they are working with schools to develop hands-on painting/etching/woodcut projects; showing them how to create art for social change and work for a cause. By turning their works into beautiful products and showing them how to build social campaigns to raise awareness and funds for their cause, An Act of Dog is helping them to save more lives and leading the way towards a more compassionionate world.

Mark has been an Artist for over 30 years, with his work featured in top art publications, awarded and exhibited throughout America, with much of his work hanging in private and corporation collections all over the World. 

In addition to this his art career, Mark is the CEO of "ArtSmartCities" and a national award winning Consultant to cities across America, showing them how to use the arts to revitalize blighted neighborhoods, and is revered for his successful creation and implementation of the “Paducah Artist Relocation Program,” in Paducah, Kentucky. This cutting edge program won the Governor’s Award in the Arts, the Kentucky Chapter of the American Planning Association Distinguished Planning Award, the Kentucky Earth Day Award for Preservation, the national award from the American Planning Association for a Special Community Initiative, and the Rudy Bruner award for Urban Excellence.     

Press coverage
""It's always very important to feel the subject matter...I don't think you can say anything as an artist unless you feel it.""
PBS and Sagacity productions, Documentary Trailer
PBS Documentary Trailer
"“Once you truly learn about the issue, it doesn’t leave you – Not if you have any sort of empathy or compassion or care in your being,” Barone says. “That’s why this project has become our lives. We’ve laid it all on the line.”"
Artist Mark Barone Paints Portraits of 5,500 Euthanized Dogs to Raise Awareness About the Plight of Shelter Animals
People Magazine - June 26, 2015
""We are 100 percent purpose driven. We don't get anything out of this besides seeing the animals saved," says Mark. "The goal is a solution... and we won't give up until that happens. We will take it all the way to the promised land.""
Artist Mark Barone's Portrait Project: 5,500 Shelter Dogs Who Are Gone, But Will Never Be Forgotten
Huffington Post - March 12, 2014
""We appreciate your dedication and devotion and we're so glad you reached out to us. Our audience says-Great segment. We need more like these. We do need more people like you and we're grateful your allowing theses dogs to live on.""
Bringing Awareness To Shelter Dogs Through Art
Huff Post Live - January 07, 2015
""There's a disconnect between people's love of animals and the actual situation of how many are actually dying every day," Dervan told HLN. "For us, this project is totally heart-driven, much bigger than us. You come to understand that your life is no longer just about you anymore. It's about social change.""
Huge art project captures the plight of shelter dogs
""If Santina hadn't followed me home, this never would have happened," says Barone. "What she did for me in my life was so profound. She allowed me to find my calling.""
Devoted: 38 Extraordinary Tales of Love, Loyalty, and Life With Dogs
National Geographic: Devoted
""The size of the project is half the size of the Sistine Chapel," he says. "The Sistine Chapel is 11,000 square feet, and this will be 5,500 square feet. If you stack the paintings 10 feet tall, it'll be two football fields long." Barone says he paints 10 dogs a day, seven days a week, and the two say that the project—which they've called "An Act of Dog"—is a full-time volunteer job for the both of them."
Fast Company
"By putting a face to the statistic, Barone hopes to spread awareness of the plight of homeless animals in the U.S. "
Artist immortalizes 5,500 shelter dogs by painting each of their portraits before they are put down
The Daily Mail
"Barbi Twins: If your paintings could talk, what would the main message be? Mark Barone: "Have compassion for those who are at our mercy, because compassion will save us all.""
Interview with Artist Mark Barone by The Barbi Twins
"Their passion was sparked by the death of a dog Barone had for 21 years. While searching for another dog to adopt, they concluded that animal shelters willing to euthanize animals because of overcrowding or aggressiveness were "broken," Dervan said."
Artist takes on project to make portraits of 5,500 dogs put down around nation.
USA Today - December 05, 2013
"“제 모든 작업들은 언제나 절박한 상황들에 관련된 것이었지만, 직접적으로 사회 문제에 맞서는 프로젝트를 진행해 본 적은 없었어요. 예술이 그 역할을 해야 한다고 생각해요.” "
<뉴스G> 죽음을 앞둔 개들의 마지막 얼굴
EBS News-South Korea
""Compassion is not a luxury, but a necessity for our survival.""
Artist promotes compassion
Prime Show-Japan
""It is up to us to change the status quo and remember to always choose compassion.""
Museo por los 5.500 perros caídos
MSN-Latin America
""We couldn't turn away and do nothing, because that make us part of the problem.""
Painter Immortalizes 5,500 Doomed Shelter Dogs
ABC News
""I thought, maybe there's something we can do to help save these animals.""
Shelter Dogs
ALJAZEERA - July 12, 2014
"“You have to have faith. Every now and then you have a little pity party; give it a few minutes,” Marina added. “Get it out of the way. It’s completely dependent on us as humans to have humanity, to stand up for the animals that can’t stand up for themselves.”"
An Act of Dog: An Artist's Effort To Foster Compassion
The Daily Good
""I paint the dogs so they can live on and have their stories told and so we can help all animals — not just dogs," Barone said. "But there are all sorts of things you can do to help animals that aren’t to this scope. Get involved. Foster an animal. Every action can make a difference.""
Artist paints 5,500 shelter dogs -- the number killed in the U.S. each day
MNN-Mother Nature Network
Marina Dervan
Mark Barone
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