Recent visitors to Franklin City Hall may have noticed a new exhibit in the Fire Hall Gallery showcasing service dogs from around Middle Tennessee, and the photographs are now available for purchase as notecards with proceeds benefiting a local nonprofit.
The photographs in the exhibit, titled "Doggone Good! Service Dogs of Middle Tennessee", were originally made as part of The Arc Williamson County’s 2017 Service Dogs of Middle Tennessee calendar, a project that raised funds for people with disabilities in the community. Each service dog has a moving and unique story about how they provide individualized tasks to assist their owners with varying disabilities.
The calendar and the City Hall exhibit showcase the personal account of each service dog team as well as educates the public on etiquette, the law and often misunderstood aspects of service dogs.
Jen Vogus, a Brentwood resident, photographer and board member of The Arc Williamson County, created the exhibit. Her goal with each photograph was to capture the dedication, loyalty and spirit of each dog in a way that reflects their unique personality.
Vogus became passionate about photography several years ago when she began taking pictures of her son, who has a disability and is non-verbal. She photographed the things he was doing and what he enjoyed so he could share this information with peers and teachers at school. It gave him a voice, sharing his interests and helping others realize all that he was capable of doing.
Vogus’ infatuation for the technical, artistic and humanitarian aspects of photography soon developed and has been her true passion ever since.
Whether she is photographing her son to help aid in his communication, providing portraiture of families and pets to commemorate special moments, creating collections such as “Doggone Good!,” or developing personal projects, it is increasingly evident to Vogus that the art and craft of photography is incredibly impactful in the variety of ways that it can serve as a vehicle to do good for individuals and the community. Ultimately, she strives to use her work to make a tangible contribution in this way.
The notecards can be purchased on The Arc Williamson County website. They are $20 for a set of 13 cards or $50 for three sets.