For the Love of Dog

Local artist supports animal welfare thru creative collaborations

Our northwest corner of Philadelphia has a well-deserved reputation as an artists’ enclave. You don’t see a ton of galleries here, but many of our industrial spaces are crammed with studios, and even more are creating fabulous projects elsewhere – or quietly working from home, right under our noses…

In East Falls, Jay McClellan Studio’s sign hangs discreetly on an unassuming Coulter Street porch that belies the playful, vibrant – even dazzling – paintings being produced here. You might also be surprised that this modest cottage is home to a new art initiative dedicated to the well-being of animals. “I had always dreamed of creating a community of artists who can use their talent to help save animal lives,” said McClellan, “Benevolent Hound offers me the platform.”

Jay’s new non-profit (announced this January) provides and promotes resources, educational tools and partnership opportunities for artists to use their talents to help pets. Founded upon the idea that art has the power to make good things happen, Benevolent Hound seeks like-minded artists for partnerships on socially-responsible projects. For instance:

In collaboration with the White Dog Café, Jay has added 61 paintings to their Glen Mills location, with half the proceeds benefiting Brandywine SPCA and Alpha Bravo Canine in Philadelphia. He’s also worked with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation on a coloring book of top donors’ dogs that is a new fundraising opportunity in their fight against childhood cancer.

At the dog-friendly URBN campus in Philly’s Navy Yard, Jay’s drawings of Anthropologie employees’ pooches raised money for the SPCA and on top of that all the adoptables brought to the event found forever homes on the spot. Clearly, Jay’s found his groove blending art with animal activism.

He hopes to share this passion through Benevolent Hound, and inspire others to connect and uplift for the good of our animals who love us unconditionally.

LOCAL ARTISTS: Reach out to Jay on his website A handy form asks about your style and medium, and what causes are close to your heart.

Shop to It!

Lots of fun, unique items in BH’s online store: mugs, dog bowls, coaster sets and a personal favorite: coloring books! For two bucks you can download individual drawings which can be reprinted if you make a mistake, change your mind or whatever. Lots of breeds to choose from: Foxhounds, French bulldogs, Boxers, Bassets and Border collies…. Have we mentioned Jay loves dogs???

Donations are also welcome, and tax-deductible. For more information, please follow @BenevolentHound on Instagram.

More items available at


Jay is a professional artist who specializes in large-scale, animal portraiture widely recognized by high-profile collectors including Urban Outfitters, Fetch, Chase Utley and the White Dog Café, where his bold lively artwork first gained attention. In 2019, he collaborated with Anthropologie on a splashy line of home décor based on original paintings that still hang throughout their corporate campus.

Born and raised in Arkansas, Jay now draws & paints in his home studio in East Falls, and also teaches drawing to Jefferson University students. He’s inspired by his wife Stephanie and his artist-in-training daughter, Sophie. And also, of course, by the extraordinary love of his dogs.

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