Linda Brenner, Woodmere Cats
Linda Brenner’s Woodmere Cats began as a portrait head of the artist’s beloved cat Omar after he was diagnosed with cancer. Omar was operated on by Sue McDonough at the cat hospital and he did so well that he lived for another 18 months. The artist continued to work on the portrait, which evolved into a life-size drawing. Brenner drew him in two poses to suggest walking.
When Brenner decided to translate the drawings into sculpture, she modeled them in clay and then made a plaster cast and a rubber mold to prepare them to be cast in bronze. She cast the first edition in 1987 at PAFA when she started teaching there and they were exhibited as Cat Walk on a custom base. The second edition, which includes those now at Woodmere, was cast at Laran Foundry in 1989.
Brenner obtained a bachelor of fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and has received awards from the Leeway Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She worked at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts for twenty-four years, with positions including faculty member in the sculpture and drawing department, critic in the sculpture department, and chair of the sculpture department. Her work has been on view at the Philadelphia International Airport, the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia, and Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia.