Lynn Moon of Rancho Santa Fe has many passions: helping others, raising awareness about animals and animal issues, and supporting artists and artwork of all kinds. For the past three-and-a-half years, she has been able to fulfill all of her passions through her very own nonprofit: Art for Barks.
Art for Barks is an online community that not only showcases animal artists and writers, but also offers services to assist pet parents while supporting local animal charities. “We’re using the visual images and literary works to create an entire new and larger community of pet lovers who are charmed by the substance of what we’re doing,” Moon said. Art for Barks’ ultimate goal is to facilitate public education about animals and art through online content.
Online, you can find a Dog Art and Literary journal with short stories and artist profiles and interviews. Anyone is able to contribute! Topics range from poetry to children’s literature. The website also features a Fine Art Dog Gallery, complete with unique paintings, drawings, photos, sculptures and jewelry available for purchase. Moon said just as an aquarium uses fish to educate about conservation, Art for Barks uses art and literary works to inspire and educate about quality pet care. Members can participate in raffles and art auctions.
Earlier this year, Art for Barks had its first big charity fundraiser at San Diego Polo Fields. The event featured polo matches, an animal fine arts show, an Arabian horse demonstration, wine tasting, and an after-party social hour.
Founder Lynn Moon has had an interesting journey leading up to Art for Barks. Unimpressed with her generation’s limited expectations of women, Lynn’s career initially led to more “male dominated” occupations. She has spent time as a stockbroker, investment advisor, and a commercial real estate developer. After early retirement, Lynn attended art school. “I was the only one in the room that was a beginner so I had to work really hard,” Lynn said. “That’s when I developed a love and appreciation for artists.” It was also at this time that the economic decline began, and she began realizing that galleries would encounter a survival problem. Since 2008, two-thirds of all art galleries in the country have closed. Art for Barks was thus formed with a focus on assisting dogs, artists and creative writers.
“I love to create and to make a contribution to the community so I needed to be in a self-employed role so that being a woman would not limit me in terms of what I did,” said Lynn. Her self-employed finance career has allowed her the flexibility to pursue philanthropy and art through Art for Barks. “So often we think we can only do one thing but I’m not of that perspective,” she added.
If you share Lynn’s perspective and passion for animals and art, there are many ways you can lend a hand. Anyone interested may participate as a volunteer at various social and cultural events. Art for Barks also offers internships and opportunities for professional enrichment, depending on individual skill sets and talents.