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Pet portraits by Felsenthal capture character of critters

Ellen Felsenthal captures the glistening fur of a cat called Sidney, just one of many portraits of animals at Espresso Americana in Everett through February. -
Ellen Felsenthal captures the glistening fur of a cat called Sidney, just one of many portraits of animals at Espresso Americana in Everett through February.
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An Arlington-area photographer, Ellen Felsenthal, has found a niche in photographing animals of many kinds.
I grew up in Chicago, where a cat and my imagination fueled my passion for animals, Felsenthal said.
Now she is making up for lost time by sharing her Jordan Road home, New Moon Farm, with cats, dogs, horses, goats, sheep, deer, coyote, beaver and eagles.
I welcome any animal that either chooses to live here or comes to us in need.
Her photographic studies of animals can be seen through February at Espresso Americano inside the Everett Public Library, at 2702 Hoyt Ave. in Everett.
The curator of the show, Lyussy Hyder, who also runs the Solovei Art Gallery at the Everett Public Market building, said she was very glad to discover Felsenthal.
We are on the same page passionate about animals and their habitat. But Ellen is a doer. She actually takes care of many abused, abandoned, injured animals and rescues them from unnecessary slaughtering, Hyder said adding that Felsenthal has committed her artistic talent to animals by offering the proceeds from her commissioned photography to go to her New Moon Farm Foundation for the benefit of animals.
Felsenthal has a masters degree in photography from the University of Washington and three bachelors degrees in studio art, art history and theatrical design from the University of Texas at Austin.
But the real education of my heart comes from the animals who share my life, she said.
While working by day as a tenured faculty member in the photography department at Everett Community College, Felsenthal sees herself as an enthusiastic ongoing student of the natural world.
The animals are incomparable teachers. I honor and respect them unconditionally. To this end, I dedicate my life and my work to them.
Hyder said that Felsenthals exceptional photography not only captures the animals physical beauty, but she also manages to document their character including immense patience and intelligence.
For Felsenthal, she sees her images as an effort to capture and celebrate her own life with the animals.
I am embracing a lifelong dream allowing animals to become the center of my world, she said.
I feel a sense of fulfillment and contentedness that I did not know was possible. Through my photographs, I communicate this profound bond with animals by showing them as I experience them.
The touch, smell, sound and sight of these individual souls saturate my senses. This intimate connection provides constant inspiration for me, she said.
Felsenthal especially enjoys her animal friends candid commitment to living in the moment.
Its something I strive to emulate. It is an honor to share my life with these remarkable creatures.
Hyder said the same about Felsenthal.
Ellen is one of those people with whom encounters enrich others.
In addition to realistic portraits of animals, the show at the coffee shop also includes abstracts and paintings, through Feb. 27.
For a preview of Felsenthals photographey check out her Web site at www.ellenfelsenthal.com.

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