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Meet Pongo, Our Chief Executive Dog

Update: This article isn't really about art. It's about dogs. Yes, the founders were dog people, and many of our students were too. This was written when we had our physical art studio in Markham, serving York Region. Since May of 2020, Winged Canvas transformed into an online art school, and continues to operate virtually, serving art nerds around the world.

Now, for a nostalgic glimpse inside the brick-and-mortar studio...

When you visited Winged Canvas before 2020, a small, affectionate, and funny little dog might have greeted you at the door. Her name is Pongo and she is our Chief Executive Dog (CED).

Pongo, CED of Winged Canvas

CED Pongo practices her best model face on the life drawing stage.

In her role as CED of Winged Canvas, Pongo is responsible for managing all aspects of the studio. She makes sure that anyone who eats Cheetos or other cheese coated snacks shares with her. She ensures the studio always operates at peak cuteness levels and achieves this in many ways: she’ll jump on your lap for a quick snuggle, bring her toys to you and sometimes she’ll pose for life drawing.

Dog Life Drawing at the Art Hub

A CED’s work is never done. Pongo poses for her fans.

Dog Paintings at the Art Hub

Paintings of Pongo, by Bryan Navasero and student Julia, age 10

Pongo also oversees studio operations, such as testing the comfort level of the couch, cleaning stray food off the floor and barking at things both real and imagined. She enjoys a good cuddle, and will gladly sit on your lap and allow you to pet her.

Dog muse for a cat painting

Pongo helps me paint my cat even though she probably thinks I should paint her.

Pongo and her human, Artist Fei Lu

Pongo "helps" founder Fei Lu with her painting

Puppy Kisses

Pongo's free kisses are a perk that all of our staff and students enjoy.

When Pongo and her best friend Sadie aren’t hanging out at the Art Hub, they spend their time with co-owners Fei Lu and Aaron Fruman. We’re (obviously) a dog-friendly space and Pongo and Sadie often act as our adorable muses.

Lazy studio dogs at the Art Hub

Pongo and Sadie, um, taking a quick break. They usually work pretty hard. We swear.

In fact, Pongo and Sadie are drawn and painted so much that we think they may become the most famous dogs in Markham's history!

Pongo and Sadie Winged Canvas Studio Dogs

Anime Pongo and Sadie, by student Abi, age 11

Dog Drawing by Winged Canvas Student

Pongo and Sadie, by student Moon, age 10

Pet caricature by Josephine Guan

Caricature of Sadie and Pongo in gouache, by intern Josephine Guan

Dog Painting Artist Celia Chen

Pongo in acrylic, by student Celia Chen, who is also learning to paint.

Custom Dog Portraits Fei Lu

Oil Painting of Sadie and Pongo, by Creative Director Fei Lu

Dogs, cats, and other pets make great art subjects, and will patiently allow you to observe and draw them while they sleep. They have also inspired countless comics and character designs. Check out our video featuring Pongo, where artist Jessie Chang turns her into an Animal Crossing villager! (41).webp

Virtual Art Classes

Live, interactive art lessons from the safety of home. Flexible enrollment. Join in anytime! (42).webp (39).webp

Art Mentorship

This is an art program specifically for students who know what they'd like to learn, or those seeking one-on-one style lessons. (40).webp (43).webp

Teacher Resources

Doesn't matter what grade you teach, you can use our free teaching resources to help you educate the next generation of artists. (44).webp

Access the Best Art Education From Anywhere!

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