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    Designing for Cats at Art and Adoption Show


    The most popular attraction at "The Cat Show," an exhibition on view at White Columns gallery in New York now through July 27, is a cat-friendly jungle gym built by Freecell Architecture, a Brooklyn-based architecture firm known for its forward-thinking installations. And it's no surprise that cats are the subject of their very own art exhibition, since these current rock stars of the Internet—we’re looking at you, Grumpy Cat—are the topic of endless articles on BuzzFeed and covered all over the media.

    Freecell's construction, part of The Cats-in-Residence Program conceived by Rhonda Lieberman, features a jumble of black PVC pipes and dyed sisal rope for the animals to scratch, climb, and explore. But the stars of the exhibit are the adoptable cats from Social Tees Animal Rescue, a local no-kill animal shelter. Every Friday and Saturday a group is brought to the exhibit to play and do what they do best: look cute. Every cat in attendance is available for adoption, and has been fixed and vaccinated.

    Due to the show’s success (the first batch of cats found homes almost immediately), the adoption events have been expanded to include July 12-13 and July 19-20.

    “Our goal was to get people to feel like the exhibition space is alive,” says John Hartmann, creative director of Freecell Architecture. “We wanted the cats to be able to climb all around it. Our inspiration was a mega cat-scratching post.”

    Curated by Rhonda Lieberman, the exhibition also contains paintings, sculptures, sketches, photographs, video installations, etc. by more than 50 artists, including pieces by household names like Andy Warhol, Patti Smith, and Matthew Barney. If the cats could talk, we’re sure they would say it was a success.

    Photo by Jonathan Grassi.