Kids paint portraits of pets up for adoption

Messenger photos by Theresa Hennis
Frances Smith, 9, of Columbus paints Spitfire, a kitten.

(Posted June 18, 2019)

By Theresa Hennis, Staff Writer

If a picture paints a thousand words, Plain City Elementary Art Camp students hope the portraits they painted of cats and dogs available for adoption at the Humane Society of Madison County (HSMC) convey the heartfelt message–“Adopt Me.”

Artist Hilary Frambes of Plain City and Janel Luker, art teacher at Plain City Elementary, coordinated and co-led the camp, which took place June 12-13 at the school.

“This is our third year of hosting the camp,” Luker said. “Camp participation has grown each year. This year we had 52 campers, not only from Plain City but from surrounding areas such as London, Fairbanks and Columbus.”

Plain City artist Hilary Frambes instructs Leah Polsinelli, 11, of Plain City in painting technique.

Luker and Frambes wanted to offer a different kind of summer camp experience for students

“Hilary does professional pet portraits and also donates work yearly to the Friends of the Shelter PupArt event,” Luker said. “We thought it would be valuable for the students to have a similar experience. We hope they come away with a sense of pride in knowing that perhaps their paintings might help create awareness for adoptable pets in our area.”

Molly Krummrey, 11, of Plain City painted a portrait of a dog named Flash.

“I hope people see this and adopt more dogs from the Humane Society,” she said.

HSMC Executive Director Meg Werner of Galloway said, “This is the first time a school has reached out to us with such a wonderful idea. We would love to have the students’ portraits to hang up.”

Claire Smith, 12, of Columbus paints finishing touches on her portrait of a cat named Butter.

Frambes and Luker plan on making a collage of the portraits to give to HSMC for display.

Leah Polsinelli, 11, of Plain City painted a portrait of Astraea, a kitten.

“I enjoy painting, and I love animals,” she said. “I feel Astraea is a good kitten, and I really want her to have a good home.”

In addition to the pet portraits, this year’s campers made robot sculptures, underwater paintings, mixed media collages, 3D emoji paintings, and a black and white tile installation of downtown Plain City.

To find out how you can provide a forever home for a pet awaiting adoption, visit

Janel Luker, art teacher at Plain City Elementary, gives painting tips to her daughter, Ella Luker, 11, of Columbus.
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