Athens Area Humane Society unveils new mural | Arts & Culture

A new mural by local artist David Hale was revealed at the nearly four-acre campus of the Athens Area Humane Society on Nov. 3.

In September 2021, AAHS left the location it had been operating in since 2007 and moved into its new home at 1030 Mitchell Bridge Road.

The new campus creates the capacity to better meet the needs of the pets in Athens and surrounding areas, and is a step in the right direction to fulfill the Humane Society’s mission and goals.

Athens Area Humane Society’s CEO, Cheryl McCormick, knew that Hale’s mural would be a perfect addition to their new location.

“Our vision for the campus is to be a place where the bond between pets and people is celebrated. In the creative, vibrant culture of Athens, we can’t think of a better way to express what it means to be Athenian than to incorporate some public art throughout the campus,” McCormick said.

According to McCormick, the volunteers and staff are hoping that the AAHS becomes a place of congregation, celebration, community and even solace for the citizens of Athens and surrounding areas. Hale’s mural helps achieve that atmosphere.

As owner and operator of Love Hawk Studio, Hale is a beloved artistic visionary best known by locals for his previous murals “Bird Song” and “Hope” in downtown Athens.

Hale’s talent and unique style shine through at the AAHS mural, which he named “Homemakers.” The title represents the bond between people and animals, expressing that pets have the power to transform any house into a home.

Hale and his family have volunteered in the cat adoption ward of the AAHS as “Feline Friends,” so he already had a special connection to the establishment before painting the mural.

When discussing the vision for the piece, McCormick did not give Hale many guidelines. She simply told him to dream wildly – and that he did.

In the mural, Hale features Yoshi, his best friend’s dog. A few weeks prior to the completion of the mural, Yoshi passed away.

After this event, Hale decided to incorporate Yoshi into the mural as not only a tribute, but also as a way to represent the magic that all companion animals add to our lives.

“Pets offer us incredible opportunities to experience unconditional love — in our homes, in our lives, and in our hearts,” Hale said in a press release from the AAHS. “I hope this mural can act as a giant ‘thank you’ note to the people who work for and support the Humane Society in its efforts, and most importantly give compassionate care to the furry creatures we are so blessed to have in our homes, families and hearts!”

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