Sorelle Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition, A Good Day, featuring local artist Russell Miyaki to benefit rescue organizations Dog Star Rescue and Westport Animal Shelter Advocates (WASA). Cohosted by Samantha Yanks, Founder of The Connecticut Edit and Editor-in-Chief of Westport, Weston & Wilton Magazine, and Sadie Yanks (Staples ’25), Co-Founder of The Connecticut Edit, the exhibition will open on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at Sorelle Gallery in downtown Westport, CT with a reception from 2:00 – 5:00pm and an Artist Talk at 2:30pm.
Russell Miyaki’s artwork depicts portraits of dogs of all breeds in vibrant, lively color palettes, and his repertoire includes custom, commissioned paintings of dogs. During the Artist Talk, Miyaki will discuss his creative process, and guests will have the opportunity to learn more about him and place orders for commissioned works. For the duration of the nearly month-long exhibition, 10% of sales of paintings and commissions by Miyaki will be donated to Dog Star Rescue and WASA. Both organizations will be present during the opening reception with dogs who are in need of homes and available for adoption.
Guests are encouraged to bring their dogs along for the event, with local, family-owned pet specialty retailer Pet Pantry providing a “Bone Bar” with a variety of treats for visiting dogs. Westport Earth Animal will also have doggie gift bags available for the first fifty guests to take home, along with a gift basket raffle. Light refreshments will be available for human guests.
"When Sorelle moved to our current location in Westport nearly four years ago, one of the first things our team noticed was how friendly and loving the entire community was toward dogs,” says Sorelle Gallery Owner, Sandy Pelletier. “This event is a wonderful opportunity for community members to discover new artwork, support local dog rescue organizations, meet dogs in need of homes, and treat their own pups to a day out. We are thrilled to showcase Russell’s work, which captures the lively, joyful personalities of every dog he paints, in partnership with local organizations that each individually have incredible missions.”
“My goal at Westport, Weston & Wilton Magazine and at The Connecticut Edit has always been to fuse together partnerships that tap into our community’s passions while simultaneously having a philanthropic mission,” stated Samantha Yanks. “To support not one, but two nonprofit organizations, Westport Animal Shelter and Dog Star Rescue, through local artist Russell Miyaki’s vivid dog paintings at Sorelle Gallery will help so many animals in need. The opportunity to partner with philanthropically minded Earth Animal and Pet Pantry is incredible. Our yellow lab, Wonton, and I stand ready to serve!”
A Good Day will be on view at Sorelle Gallery’s Westport, CT location at 19 Church Lane through March 16, 2024. The show and associated opening reception are free and open to the public. Street parking is available. Guests are encouraged to bring crowd- and dog-friendly dogs to the event.
Original paintings by Russell Miyaki hang at Sorelle Gallery in Westport, CT.
About Russell Miyaki
Russell Miyaki is a contemporary artist and creative director in New York City. He works from his studio at Metro Art Studios in Bridgeport, CT, a renovated historic 1800s corset factory. A third-generation Japanese American born and raised in New Mexico, Russell attended school in Colorado, graduating with honors and majoring in advertising design and illustration. Throughout his career he has worked for design studios and advertising agencies, winning industry awards and recognition, from the One Show Interactive to multiple Webbys.
"As an artist, I use my canvas as a portal, bridging my inner feelings and thoughts to the reality of life outside,” Miyaki says. “Simultaneously, my canvas serves as a mirror, reflecting my deep empathy for the lives and emotions of others. It's this connection between self and society, the introspective and the universal, that gives my art its essential vitality and purpose.
"My work embodies the simplest, yet most powerful expressions of positive energy, happiness, and fun. It represents an escape from the anger and unhappiness that seems all too prevalent in today's world. My hope is that through my art, viewers are transported, if only momentarily, to a place of joy and serenity. In creating these visual affirmations, I am not just reconciling my emotions with the world; I'm offering an invitation to others to join me on this journey of hope and happiness."
Samantha Yanks in her Connecticut home (left) and her dog, Wonton in front of original artwork by Sorelle artist Teodora Guererra (right).
About Samantha Yanks
Samantha Yanks is the Editor-in-Chief of Westport, Weston & Wilton Magazine, Founder of content and branding firm, Samantha Yanks Creative and Co-Founder of The Connecticut Edit, a digital platform for discovering Connecticut's best restaurants, newest openings, upcoming events, noteworthy creators, favorite shops and TCE's philanthropic partnerships.
Yanks was formerly the longtime Editor-in-Chief of Modern Luxury’s Hamptons and Gotham magazines. Yanks is the Founder of Samantha Yanks Creative, an agency that works with clients on content creation, strategic marketing initiatives and brand strategy. She is also Co-Founder of The Connecticut Edit; a digital platform that focuses on discovering what is new and next and who to know in Connecticut, which she created with her daughter Sadie Yanks. Prior to her Editor-in-Chief positions, Yanks was fashion and accessories director for Niche Media where she scoured the country for fashion, filling the pages of Aspen Peak, Boston Common, Capitol File, Gotham, Hamptons, Los Angeles Confidential, Michigan Avenue, and Philadelphia Style with the most current trends. Prior to her positions at Niche Media, Yanks was senior accessories editor at O, The Oprah Magazine, where she collaborated closely with Oprah Winfrey. Before that, Yanks honed her skills at Vogue in the fashion and accessories department where her position rapidly elevated from associate accessories editor to accessories editor. Yanks is also a prominent on-air personality on numerous television segments discussing fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. She has appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show” and “Nightly News,” Bloomberg, New York Live, Fox’s “Good Day New York,” E!, CBS’ “The Couch,” HDNet, and the Martha Stewart and Howard Stern shows on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Yanks has also contributed for NBC’s “Weekend Today” show with her own branded segment “The Scoop with Samantha” and was part of New York Fashion Week’s American Express Skybox Series.
A graduate of Tulane University, Yanks lives in Westport with her husband, daughter, and yellow lab Wonton.
About Dog Star Rescue
Dog Star Rescue, a non-profit, volunteer-run organization, is a dog rescue organization based out of the Hartford, CT area. They work closely with shelters in the South as well as New England states to save the lives of loving and loyal dogs who have lost their way and find themselves on death row. Their team of volunteers find adoptable dogs the medical and emotional care they need so they can transition into a loving forever home. To date, they have placed over 6,000 dogs with new families.
About WASA (Westport Animal Shelter Advocates)
Westport Animal Shelters Advocates (WASA) is a 501c3 organization dedicated to the care and welfare of homeless dogs in Fairfield County, CT. Their primary focus is attending to the needs of impounded dogs at Westport Animal Control in Westport, CT, providing funds for their vet care, exercise, training and promoting the dogs, as well as performing home and reference checks in order to ensure that the dogs are placed safely in loving homes. Additionally, WASA has a small fostering network for homeless dogs that come from other Connecticut animal control facilities or come to WASA from Fairfield County residents that for a variety of reasons need to be rehomed. They also assist area pet owners that are struggling financially in regard to providing vet care and adequate nutrition for their pets.
About Pet Pantry Warehouse
Pet Pantry is a local, family owned, community-based pet specialty retailer. Originating in Greenwich, CT in 1945, Pet Pantry has grown to open seven different locations in Connecticut and New York State and provides support to other organizations including Adopt-A-Dog, Greyhound Rescue, The Good Dog Foundation, and more.
About Earth Animal
Earth Animal is home to raw and organic pet foods, holistic herbal remedies for pets, freshly baked cookies straight from their onsite kitchen (and even a bird barn!). They also host many community events, including educational speakers and classes, adoption days, product testings, and dog training classes. Earth Animal is the healing center where your pet is a priority, so if you and your pet ever find yourselves in our neighborhood, be sure to stop by to say hi!