Cannon gallery showcases furry pieces of art


Danny Tajimaroa

The William D. Cannon Art Gallery at Carlsbad Dove Library showcased photos by Elliott Erwitt. The pictures took a new look on man’s best friend.

1775 Dove Ln Carlsbad, CA 92011 houses the Carlsbad City Library. This piece of the community reflects the importance of not only literature –but art! The William D. Cannon Art Gallery attaches itself to the side of the library, intriguing people with exhibits since 1999.

Currently the gallery is showcasing a display of photography by Elliott Erwitt.

An American Icon, Erwitt served as a photographer’s assistant in the 1950s within the United States Army while stationed in both France and Germany. He began a freelance photography career and joined the Magnum Photos agency in 1953. Erwitt frequently and unnintentionally photographed many dogs within his time. They have been the subject of four of his published books, and Dog Dogs came out in 1998.

“I have a background in Art and Art History and Museum Studies, and I had studied Elliott Erwitt’s work years ago”, gallery coordinator Karen McGuire said. “When I was doing research on possible exhibitions to bring to the gallery, I ran across a traveling exhibition service in New York who was loaning a whole collection of Elliott Erwitt’s photographs of dogs.”

Yes, that’s correct ladies and gentleman. Erwitt’s Dog Dogs is now a black and white display of mans best friend at their finest. From small and fluffy to large and powerful –Erwitt captures several tail wagging moments.

“Dogs are loveable, loyal and amazing creatures”, Carlsbad Arts Foundation representative Sandra Riggins said. “When you have a show filled with great photos of dogs in all of their variety it appeals to many people. Seeing the children of the community respond to the photos has been especially delightful”.

The gallery reaches out to young kids and gets them involved by offering an educational experience for elementary schoolers.

“Many classes of Carlsbad students have participated in our Three-Part-Art program where they tour the gallery, learn about the artist and then get to work on their own artwork,” Riggins said.

The humor and detail in Erwitt’s work is made clear to the senses.

“I love his photography. It is witty and charming and he is great at composition, and capturing shadow and light as well as special moments, not only with his dog images but in capturing people too,” McGuire said.

But before Erwitt’s pups could even set up shop –The William D. Cannon Gallery’s Committee had to approve of the mutts.

“The Gallery Committee is an advisory committee that meets three to four times a year to review possible future exhibitions and gives their input on artist proposals and curated and traveling exhibitions,” McGuire said. “Traveling exhibitions, like the Elliott Erwitt exhibition are fully developed exhibitions. The gallery committee is comprised of local artists, museum professionals and community members who have a background or training in art or art history”.

Erwitt is now 85, an established photographer –he has worked with America for Life Magazine, Marilyn Monroe and doggies.

As Erwitt makes his way out of the gallery next month, the Sixth Annual Invitational exhibition moves on in. This ever evolving gallery is a piece of treasure, not to be over looked.

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them,” Erwitt said.