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Dogs inspire their owners to be better people, to appreciate the simple joys of a long walk and to clean up another creature's poo without having a total meltdown about it. We owe our canine companions a debt of gratitude (and a few belly rubs) for the happiness they bring to our lives. For centuries, artists have been exploring the unbreakable bonds between dogs and humans and depicting the ways in which one's life informs the other's. The result of this artistic exploration? Thoughtful, playful, wonderful works, such as those on display at the Dog Days of Summer exhibition at Laumeier Sculpture Park (12580 Rott Road, Sunset Hills). At the center of this delightful show is Finnish artist Tea Mäkipää's commissioned dog trail — a perfectly fitting (and functional) work for Laumeier, which is one of only two accredited museums in the nation to allow dogs. Also included in the exhibition are modern works by Jeff Koons, William Wegman and Robert Chambers, plus historic pieces by the likes of Richard Cosway. Get a first glimpse of Dog Days of Summer at the free gallery talk and public reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 25. As always, both two-footed and four-footed visitors are welcome at the sculpture park, but only people are allowed in the gallery; however, Laumeier offers several with-dog events during the length of the exhibition. For more information on those, call 314-615-5278 or visit www.laumeiersculpturepark.org. The exhibition is open through Sunday, October 2, and the gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: June 25. Continues through Oct. 2, 2011

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