Rick Gardner specializes in cartoon dog and cat art and combines his skills in fundraising and art to help homeless pets through Binky and Bell. Gardner has completed three coloring books and one joke book, and profits from these projects support numerous local rescues and shelters.
Gardner’s work has been featured in exhibits at the Visual Art Exchange WERD Art exhibit, A Place at the Table in downtown Raleigh, The Halle Arts Center in Apex, the Spotted Dog Café in Carrboro, Coffee and Crepes in Cary, Holly Springs Cultural Arts Center, and the North Carolina Craft Center in Carrboro.
For Gardner, dogs bring joy, happiness, unconditional love, and a passion to capture these feelings and share them with others. At the urging of his fans, he has expanded his art to include cats. His influences include Roy Lichtenstein, James Thurber, Charles Shultz, and numerous modern-day graphic artists.
Gardner lives in Clayton, NC with his wife, Paula and their three dogs: Cali, Josie, and Olive.
Rick Gardner and Mark Bell met in 2013 through a career transition networking group. They discovered they were both passionate about their hobbies, Rick about dogs and Mark about woodworking. Together they collaborate to create original cartoon dog art to support homeless pets through rescue groups, shelters and other non-profits.
Mark’s influences include his background growing up in the suburbs of Detroit and Boston as well his professional experiences in Germany and Switzerland.
Together, their collaboration is called Binky & Bell.
The Binky and Bell name came from Rick’s first dog, “Binky” and Mark’s last name, “Bell”.