Artist Jeri Allison‘s two great passions are animals and art. She grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and has been drawing and painting since childhood, with occasional breaks spent training horses. Her love of the Appalachian Mountains brought her to West Jefferson, where she lives with a multitude of rescued dogs and cats. At present, Jeri teaches art at Appalachian State University in Boone and spends her weekends riding horses, walking with her dogs and making art. The primary and ongoing subject of her work is devoted to animal welfare. The National Anti-Vivisection Society awarded her First Place Adult in the Art for Animals 2014 competition for her work that calls attention to the ivory trade, where more than 35,000 elephants were killed in 2013 alone for their tusks.

Fergie, the subject of her graphite and watercolor on Yupo, lives in a poor rural area of West Virginia. She is one of the many forgotten, chained dogs lacking in shelter and love. Jeri says her eyes are indeed that blue.