Floating Dog and Flying Cat

Floating Dog StatueFlying Cat StatueArtist: Mark Lere
Location: Palmdale Animal Shelter, 38550 Sierra Highway

Artist Mark Lere’s two sculptures, Floating Dog and Flying Cat, hang overhead in the adoption lobby and gallery of the Palmdale Animal Care Center. 

The sculptural depictions of these animals provide visual representations of their playful nature that emphasizes the positive emotional connections between pets and humans. The forms for the artwork evolved as Lere listened to animal care staff to learn more about animal behavior and how positive body language is conveyed by animals, notably dogs and cats. Lere used this knowledge to shape the sculptures, choosing to depict instances of alertness, spontaneity and gleefulness.

To help Floating Dog and Flying Cat feel like drawings executed in three-dimensional space, a painted aluminum frame and translucent spun bonded scrim fabric were used to create the sculptures.

Lere uses a foreshortened perspective with larger heads and forepaws that reach out to the viewer as the hind legs and tails fade away into the ceilings and rafters. Both sculptures are internally lit and emit a soft warm glow reminiscent of paper lanterns. Lere has likened the sculptures to larger than life renditions of pets that float by like balloons in Thanksgiving Day parades.

The Los Angeles County Arts Commission Civic Art Program funded the project.
 View the fact sheet (PDF) for this project.

About the Artist

Mark Lere was born in North Dakota and holds a Master of Arts from the University of California, Irvine. He is a past recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship. He has taught as a visiting professor at Art Center College of Design, Claremont Graduate University, Otis, University of North Carolina, and the University of Southern California.