This artist’s love for our canine companions wins hearts and opens doors.
If you walk a dog with any regularity in East Falls, you’ve probably noticed Jay McClellan Studio’s sign on an unassuming Coulter Street porch. Dogs tend to sniff extra hard in front of Jay’s house – they’ve got two hounds, Lucky Boy and Ava Belle, that no doubt lay down a lot of scent here for other pups to enjoy. The dogs here also inspire some serious art — and now hipster home decor!
We saw the sign one day while waiting for our own dog to get her snoot full. When we checked out Jay’s website, we discovered playful, vibrant – dazzling, even – artwork by a an acclaimed PAFA graduate who exhibits locally and oh yeah he paints dogs! Big brilliant canvases in an illustrative style that commands attention: Jay had been a commercial artist before pursuing Fine Arts, and it shows in his use of graphic prints and designs.
When we first wrote about Jay in 2015, he’d recently married Stephanie and was promoting his show at Gravers Lane Gallery in Chestnut Hill. Two White Dog Café locations (Haverford and University City) were displaying his work – indeed, the local restaurant chain’s owner had been credited with “discovering” the artist.
These days, he and Stephanie are proud parents to 21-month old Sophie. Jay’s painted for Chase Utley, FOX News’ Martha MacCallum, the CEO of Temple University’s Health System… As commissions grow, Jay’s also crossing back over into commercial art, creating splashy new collaborations with Anthropologie. Once more, Jay has his love of dogs to thank.
On a visit to the Navy Yard’s new dog-friendly URBN campus, Jay saw all the employees with their dogs by their sides – all that great energy — and decided he’d love to capture as many furry faces as he could for a big show right there at URBN’s 543 Gallery. Which is exactly what happened, and then some.
After Jay met the dogs, URBN Community sent Jay photos of each pup that became gorgeous large-scale paintings – like, wall-sized – in a grand exhibition in January 2018. Soon after opening, URBN purchased all the paintings to hang permanently throughout the URBN Campus.
It gets better. Anthropologie (one of the brands under the URBN umbrella, which includes Urban Outfitters and Free People) then invited Jay to collaborate on incorporating some of his URBN paintings into designs for a “Jay McClellan Studio” line of home décor, which went on sale internationally this year.
Find Jay’s charming mugs, plates, tea towels and more at Anthropologie, select department stores and, of course, anthropologie.com where you can view all his distinctive designs. Jay’s collection is limited, so don’t wait if you know a dog lover who’d enjoy a fun practical gift that supports a local artist.
Big hand to our man for making the world a more colorful, pooch-positive place!
Jay McClellan Studios
Jay’s a PAFA-trained painter who creates colorful canvases of the furriest members of your family. Truly special works of fine art, entirely personal and surprisingly affordable. Coulter Street/Mt.Airy/Anthropologie.com
Described by Urban Land Institute as “one of the most successful office/industrial master-planned redevelopments in U.S. history,” the Navy Yard is a 1,200-acre thriving waterfront community, with 7.5 million square feet of real estate in a mix of historic buildings and LEED® certified new construction oriented around world-class open space. The campus currently supports 150 companies employing more than 13,500 workers. Full build-out will include 20 million square feet of development, 30,000 people, and over $3 billion of private investment.