Press Paws

Buy art of video game dogs to help save the real thing

Buy art of video game dogs to help save the real thing

Press Paws is a charity art show, set to be hosted at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California, on February 9. The goal of the show is to combine Press Paws founders Amelia Cantlay and Sakura Minamida’s love of animals with their love of video games – every piece of art highlights the animal companions found in games, and proceeds from the show benefit the What’s Up Dog! LA shelter.

The Report reached out to Cantlay and Minamida to find out more about Press Paws, and we have some first-looks at art from a handful of the 50 plus artists who will be submitting work for the show. Click each image to see the un-cropped version. You might be surprised to see whose work you recognize!

Both Cantlay and Minamida have history in the games industry, as employees of Square Enix; Cantlay worked in PR, while Minamida worked in marketing. “Skip forward to May 2012, we’d both moved on to new jobs - still closely related to gaming - and had decided to meet up regularly for ‘creative days’ because we felt like we had fallen out of touch with our passion for ‘making stuff,’” Cantlay said.

“It was during one of these random meetups that we had this epiphany: video games and art must come together to save animals,” Cantlay said. “I remember we got all excited talking about all the things we could do, and at one point we were like, ‘Let’s stop talking about this and just do it!’”

“We’ve never really put a show like this together so everything has been a learning experience for us,” Cantlay told the Report. “The roughest patch I think was in the very beginning when we were looking for a venue. Without a venue we couldn’t lock down the event date, and without a date we couldn’t give the artists a proper deadline to work with – which meant we couldn’t really ask them to commit.”

Minamida explained that without a solid foundation and no experience in curating an art show, there were many moments of doubt and self-questioning. “As much as we were committed to make this a success, it was still frightening at times when emotions of uncertainty kicked into the team,” she said. “Questions like, what if everyone hates the idea? What if no one comes? What if we go into the red? What if we can’t lock any sponsors? What if we can’t lock a venue? These are absolutely natural and human questions.”

“People like Tyrone Rodriguez, founder of Nicalis reached out to us and decided to sponsor us, and it certainly boosted our confidence when he told us we have something big in our hands and it will be a success,” Minamida said.

Cantlay and Minamida also shared some exclusive previews of other art which will be appearing at the show, which you can see below.

If you live in the area, you can stop by the actual show at Gallery Nucleus on February 9. And if you don’t live in the area but want to help, you can donate to the Press Paws Indiegogo page. Regardless of what comes next, Minamida told the Report that Press Paws has already exceeded expectations. “Our ultimate goal is to raise as much awareness as possible for organizations like What’s Up Dog! LA and really educate people that your new family members don’t need to come from a pet store or an expensive breeder,” she said. “There are so many amazing animals in need of a forever home and these rescues commit an incredible amount of their lives to help them. Our show is one day. They do this every day. That is a huge commitment and they deserve to be noticed and if Press Paw’s community can do that and spread the word, I’d say it’s already a success.”

Finally, if you want to check out other work from the artists shown here, you can visit their websites, listed below, or check in with the Press Paws homepage to see even more:

Bobby O’Herlihy

Jeff Delgado

Kiersten Essenpreis

Samuel Ho

Jim Mahfood

Paul Robertson

Charles Santoso

Jesse Riggle

Megan Levens

Jennifer Strichart