Barking Ball reaches new level |

Barking Ball reaches new level

The principal fundraiser of the year for Friends of Animals will feature probably its most high-profile auction item yet.

The Barking Ball, which takes place Aug. 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lodges at Deer Valley, will auction off a custom portrait from renowned artist Peter Max.

"We are really are excited about the Peter Max portrait, he’s quite famous out of New York," said Rhoda Stauffer, the executive director for the Summit County Friends of Animals.

Friends of Animals are in need of the fundraiser, especially this year.

"Our adoption numbers have been considerably up in the last few years, which mean we’re spending more cash," Stauffer said. "Three years ago it was 440 and now we are adopting 640 animals annually."

Stauffer hopes Max will inspire a larger attendance this year.

Max made a name for himself during the ’60s. He studied contemporary photographers such as Bert Stern, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, according to his Web site. This led to his photo collage period where he captured the psychedelic era of the ’60s.

His work became distinctive with his "Cosmic ’60s style." He was soon found on various magazine covers and national TV. According to his Web site, "Max’s visual impact on the ’60s has often been compared to the influence the Beatles had with their music."

According to Cathy King of Friends of Animals, Max does a lot more portrait work.

"I remember as a kid he was very popular," King said. "It’s not the kind of the funky illustrative stuff it used to be.

Friends of Animals was able to get Max because of a connection he has with King’s husband. Throughout Max’s career, he’s always been involved in charities and other events.

"Peter is a huge animal lover," King said. "We are hoping to do some things with Peter down the line. His wife was a member of The Humane Society. He’s a huge advocate of animals."

Down the road, King expects Max will make an appearance in Park City. For this event, he has made a DVD of himself to present to the audience at the Barking Ball.

"It is huge, we’re just lucky we have that connection," King said. "I do see down the road that Peter will make an appearance in Park City. He’s wanting to come on board."

The ’60s were not the only era that made a name for Max.

Since then, he worked on U.S. border murals, the first 10-cent stamp and projects for the Federal Energy Commision. Max is known for his book, "Peter Max Paints America," which commemorated America’s Bicentennial July 4, 1976, and that year he began his annual tradition of painting the Statue of Liberty. He painted six of them on the White House lawn in 1982.

Max has been involved with world events through his artwork. He was selected to receive a 7,000-pound section of the Berlin Wall. Using a hammer and chisel, his Web site claimed, "Max carved a dove from within the stone and placed it on top of the wall to set it free."

According to his Web site, Max has been a painter for four former U.S. Presidents (Carter, Ford, Reagan and Bush). He has produced posters for events including, Summit of the Americas, Gorbachev’s State of the World Forum, and the United Nations Earth Summit. For the U.N.’s 50th anniversary, Max produced an installation of 50 paintings in different color combinations of the landmark United Nations Building. Max has also been the official artist for five Super Bowls, the World Cup USA, the U.S. Tennis Open and the NHL All-Star Game.

Other activities at the fundraiser will include the Kismet dancers, jesters, drummers, a cook-off, Patty the pet psychic, and two auctions. The theme is carnival.

"She’s the real thing," Stauffer said of Patty the pet psychic. "People actually get her to interpret what her animals are thinking, it’s her business."

Stauffer notes, however, if people want psychic readings for their pet, they should bring photographs and not take their pet with them.

There will be five caterers at the cook-off; Cucina Gourmet Deli, Shabu, Done to Your Taste, Just Me Catering and Clockwork Café

"I expect it to be the best Barking Ball so far," Stauffer said. "We’ve got a great organizing committee by Jill little and Debbie Walsh. We’ve got more sponsors this year. Prudential Utah Real Estate is at the highest level ever. With the sponsorship leading into the event we are assured we’re going to make more money than we ever have.

"It’s a combination of people entertainment and food and drink makes for a really fun evening."

The Friends of Animals Barking Ball will take place Aug. 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Lodges at Deer Valley. Entertainment will include Kismet dancers, jesters, drummers, a cook-off, a pet psychic, and auctions. For more information, call 649-4574 or visit

Auction items: Sitting and original portrait by Peter Max, season passes to Deer Valley, Wine Snob Connoisseur Basket, VIP 100 club evening that includes a Jazz game, dinner, drinks and limo ride, a catered party for 25, ski passes plus lunch on Gondola Grill deck at Deer Valley. There will be auctions for a week at the beach at La Jolla Cottage and Mission Beach House, 50 passes to The Canyons, Parallel wine retreat in Napa and original art by Sybil Hill donated by the Terzian Gallery.

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