Ga. artist Butler Brown, son donate artwork for Warner Robins fundraiser for abandoned animals

bpurser@macon.comNovember 30, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- Renowned Georgia artist Butler Brown and his artist son are offering original artwork as part of a silent auction to benefit strays and abandoned animals.

This is the third time the Brown family has partnered with Warner Robins police for such a fundraiser.

Bidding for the two pieces will continue until Dec. 21 at the Butler Brown Gallery at 1849 Watson Blvd. The artwork may be viewed at the gallery Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Proceeds will go toward the spaying or neutering of animals that rescue groups pull for adoption from Warner Robins Animal Control, said Greg Langston, director of Warner Robins Animal Control.

The whole idea is to enable more animals to find a home, he said.

“It helps the rescue groups to be able to afford to pull more animals from us and get the animals spayed and neutered,” Langston said.

The funds raised are set aside and used only for this purpose, he said. After an animal is adopted, the rescue group submits a bill for its spaying or neutering, and animal control reimburses the group from the silent auction proceeds, he said.

The 2011 fundraiser in which Brown, his son and Brown’s grandson donated artwork resulted in the spaying or neutering of more than 50 animals, Langston said.

“It really helps,” he said.

Brown, 74, a Hawkinsville native, gained fame when former President Jimmy Carter brought two of Brown’s paintings, Christmas gifts from his wife, Rosalynn, with him to the White House during his administration. Brown manages the Butler Brown gallery.

His son, Anthony “Tony” Brown, 51, and his wife, Penne, own the gallery.

“I feel sorry for the little animals that they have to put away,” Butler Brown said Friday. “They didn’t ask to come into this world ... and I think they need to be looked after.

“There are so many people out there who could enjoy having a puppy or a dog. I think it’s a very good thing. That’s why I do it.”

The painting Brown is working on for the silent auction is of his uncle’s house in Dooly County near Pinehurst. The painting features a farmhouse with a fence and a road coming down to the lake. He’s added reflections of trees in the lake. The painting is set in the summer with green trees and bushes along the fence row and green grass in the foreground.

The water is blue with shades of pinkish lavender. The old wooden house is similar to the one Brown said he grew up in, which was never painted. The house is a dark gray weathered color.

Viewers of the painting can see into the windows of the house. Brown said he plans to add some flowers around the edge of the shrubbery. A bluebird is perched on a fence post.

“Everybody looks for the bird in the painting,” Brown said. “That’s kind of my trademark.”

The fundraisers grew out a friendship between Butler and Warner Robins police Capt. Brenda Parks-Mathern, who formerly was over animal control, Brown said. The friendship budded from Brown showcasing photographs taken by Parks-Mathern in the Butler Brown Gallery.

He also has a tender heart for animals. Brown has a 11-year-old Chihuahua named L.B., which is short for Little Boy. He and his late wife, Laverne, adopted and trained L.B. together. The couple also cared for and loved another Chihuahua named Groosy for 17 years.

“They become part of the family.” Brown said.

For more information contact Warner Robins Animal Control at (478) 929-7290.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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