Murals add pop of color to Southside SPCA

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 13, 2021

Fun and lively murals featuring colorful dogs, cats, puppies and kittens now line the walls throughout the Southside SPCA shelter in Meherrin.

Local artist Audrey Sullivan of Farmville volunteered to paint the murals with the help of some students and friends in order to brighten up the space.

On Monday, Oct. 29, Sullivan explained her inspiration behind painting the walls of the no-kill shelter.

“I just thought they needed some color,” she said. “When folks come to a place like this, they are happy and excited to meet a new potential family member. I wanted the buildings to reflect that happiness and follow them in the door.”

According to SPCA Board of Directors Member Steve Smelcer, Sullivan came forward one day to offer to paint the walls of the shelter. The local artist drew up some plans, which were presented to the board and approved.

The 19 small murals, located throughout the shelter and designed by Sullivan, were painted over the summer by Sullivan, her grandaughter Huxley Bailey, art student Bee Rider and Sullivan’s good friend and volunteer Jeanne Strunk.

“We had a blast painting together,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan and her peers donated their time and efforts to paint the murals, and paint parties were held at Sullivan’s art studio, Red Door 104 on Main Street in Farmville, in order to raise funds for the project.

“We didn’t quite have enough money,” Sullivan explained, “so I went to Walt Oddo at Lowes and he generously offered to supply us with the paint and additional supplies. We couldn’t have done it without Walt.”

Sullivan, who loves animals, was very happy to see the mural come together.

“I was very excited to complete the mural. It had been on the back burner for a couple of years.  I would do anything for animals, and if our work brings joy to the people visiting and potentially adopting, then I feel very good about it.”

“It looks really great,” Smelcer said of the artwork.  “I think a lot of people are going to enjoy it.”

The colorful murals are not the only exciting news surrounding the Southside SPCA. The organization has two big events scheduled for the end of the year.

On Saturday, Dec. 4, the Southside SPCA will hold its 10th Annual Holiday Gala presented by Haley Auto Mall. The event will occur from 7 – 11 p.m. at the Fuqua Lower School at 605 Fuqua Drive in Farmville. Festivities will include a live and silent auction, hors d’oeuvres and more.

On Sunday, Dec. 5, Southside SPCA will hold its 10th Annual Holiday Donation Drive from 12 – 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Farmville. The major event will include a silent auction, raffles, photos with Santa and celebrity guests Shorty Rossi of Pit Boss and Ref. Dan Schachner of the Puppy Bowl.