Explorer Spotlight: Artist Camille & Mr. Kitty
Photo of Camille’s sculpture
We recently asked imaginative pet lovers, environmentalists, artists and celebrities to create cat-inspired art from empty aluminum Friskies® and Fancy Feast® cans.
We then exhibited their creations at a one-night-only gallery experience in New York City to help raise awareness that our aluminum cans are recyclable.
We caught up with Camille, the artist who sculpted the wonderful "cat fisher" sculpture pictured above, and are delighted to feature her as this week's Explorer
How did you come up with your recycled sculpture idea?
I had to look at the basic structure for a week before I could “see" the sculpture within. The underlying support frame was constructed from a milk bottle
(recyclable) and a liter soda bottle inverted for the head ( also recyclable). I originally had the cat’s arms down in front but changed the position when I decided to
turn him into a "fishing" cat holding a fishing pole.
How did you go about creating your artwork?
I began by deco-paging over fifty Friskies labels onto his body using Lexar brand adhesive, then I covered the labels with several coats of a shiny clear
coat sealer spray - covering the tin parts first to avoid coating them. I used two medium sized bags of Friskies dry cat food to fashion the fishing vest - using glue adhesive and duck tape to fasten it
together. Then I cut over thirty empty cat food cans into quarters with tin snips, which ridged the edges so they were not sharp. Each quarter was cut into various
sized strips depending on where I would place them. I cut them closer together to imitate the faux fur look on his paws and legs, and wider for the chest area. His eyes
and nose came from the cat illustration on the Friskies Seafood Sensations
Describe the Together We Can Recycle art event in NYC.
It was an awesome experience for me, and it was the first formal event that I attended related to any of my artwork past or present. I brought my twenty two-year old
daughter along - a graphic artist in New York City.
The gallery had two levels; my recycled sculpture was on the first floor alongside designs by Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli. Down the steps there were more
sculptures including original designs by Roberta Flack, and Kahi Lee, and an area for refreshments. An adjoining room had a sitting area and a photo area for some extra
fun picture favors to take home with us.
Several other “canimal” artists were in attendance - some from as far away as California. Each artist came up with their own unique and totally different designs,
which is what art is all about - individuality and interpretation. It was interesting to talk with other like-minded artists and hear how they came up with their
There was also a grouping of beautiful can-inspired jewelry that I would have loved to buy (I bid on it in the Ebay auction). Kahi Lee from Design on a Dime was the
featured celebrity artist in attendance. She spent time talking with everyone and promoting the event. Overall I enjoyed the selection of tasty refreshments, the photo
favors, and the positive feedback from the corporate attendees from Friskies, Ketchum and ‘Together We Can Recycle’ group. After the event many of us have stayed
connected through Facebook.
It’s clear from your work that you’re a cat lover! How did you and your cat Mr. Kitty first meet?
We got Mr. Kitty when my husband was first deployed back in 2003 (he just returned home from his second deployment to Iraq). Our then six year-old son was lonely so
I first took him to the SPCA to look for a new pet, but they did not have any kittens at that time. We went to a local pet shop Thanksgiving weekend and saw Mr. Kitty
crowded into a tiny cage with three other kitties. He had eye and ear infections and no one wanted to buy him, so he was "marked down". We bought him and took him to
the vet to get medicine to clear up his health problems. After a few days Mr. Kitty felt so good that he ran and jumped all around the house bringing a smile to my
young son's once sad little face. He slept in his bed near his head and would purr like a motor until he fell asleep.
How did you come up with Mr. Kitty’s name?
My son called him Mr. Kitty so it stuck, though we call him Me-Me for short. He even comes when we call him by his name.
If Mr. Kitty was on an island and could only have 3 things, what would they be?
His "rat", a can of Indoor Selects Beef Stew, and Bastian - our dog. He loves us,
but I think he favors his “brother” Bastian more because he is his favorite sparing partner.
What are 3 words that best describe Mr. Kitty?
My cat is like a dog, he loves to play fetch with his "rat,” which in reality is a rolled up sock that we throw across the room so he can fetch it and bring it back
- though sometimes he dumps it in his water dish instead. Mr. Kitty is a big tease; he loves to box with our 122 pound dog – Bastian, but the kitty always wins.
Mr. Kitty is very demanding and smart. He will meow loudly until he gets our attention. He can also open doors using his paws to turn the knob. And, like a dog, he
just loves to have his belly scratched.
What is Mr. Kitty’s favorite Friskies flavor?
He likes Indoor Selects Beef Stew the best, and Friskies Seafood Sensations dry food to munch on.
Want to be featured in an upcoming Explorer Spotlight just like Camille and Mr. Kitty? Upload a photo
of your cat here and we may choose you next!