Pet Connections

Art & Photography Spotlight

Animal welfare has always been a driving influence in April Minech’s life. With a starting role as a shelter dog walker 15 years ago, she began a journey that would merge her background, love of animals and artistic abilities into the distinct work she produces today. From the early days of volunteering, Ms. Minech knew she wanted to do more for the animals. She spent the next 10 years studying dog behavior around the country, and applying those ideas to shelter dogs through volunteering. Her job at the time also allowed her the opportunity to illustrate shelter animals for marketing purposes. The unique digital illustrations were popular and several rescue groups used them as fundraisers, in which April donated her time to do custom portraits for donations to the organizations. 

Her style evolved from drawing using only a mouse, and a simple paint program. “There’s much fancier equipment for digital drawing now, but I’m older and set in my ways, and more than a little stubborn. As for the colors and patterns in my art, my mom is a quilter and I used to help her pick out material for projects. I just loved putting all the colors and pieces together to create an end result that was super colorful yet balanced and fun to look at. A piece of fabric would look green at first glance, but upon closer inspection it would be yellow with tons of tiny blue leaves and brown stripes. You’d have to take a closer look to see what was really there, and that became a metaphor for shelter animals”, she says. 

For the past 3 years, she has worked out of her McKees Rocks studio painting and illustrating a large number of shelter and rescue animals, or pets that are owned by the people supporting those efforts. “Working with shelters and rescues, you get to see many sides of an animal. They usually come in reserved, scared or just unloved and blossom with the care they get from these organizations and the people who open up their hearts and homes,” says Minech. “My artwork uses color and patterns to represent everything inside an animal that’s reached its potential through a second chance.  These animals are bursting with joy and gratitude, and I hope my art brightens someone’s day when they look at it, and brings awareness the possibilities of adopting homeless pets.”

Ms. Minech donates at least 50% of her work and proceeds to animal welfare groups. “It’s all about supporting the animals. If you can donate or volunteer, do it. Be the change you want to see in the world! That’s one of my favorite quotes” says Minech.

April Supports the following organizations:

Animal Friends

Animal Rescue League

Beaver County Humane Society

Biggies Bullies

CARMAA

French Bulldog Rescue

Greene County Humane Society

Hello Bully

Hope Haven

Northeast Boston Terrier Rescue

Pitties.Love.Peace

South Hills Pet Rescue

Sad Tails of PA

The Proper Pit Bull

Washington County Humane Society

WearWoof

Western PA Humane Society

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