Founding Associates

Hero’s to the rescue! Creating a vibrant Nonprofit is a challenging task. Many of the tasks undertaken require specialized skills. To achieve our Art for Bark’s mission we needed to create three segments: a Nonprofit; The Fine Art Dog Gallery; and the "Dog Art & Literary Magazine". Complexity times three.

It takes a lot of skills to actualize a unique Nonprofit. Capital limitations also increase the challenge. Some individuals and institutions have already stepped forward in support of our mission. The Founding Associates below want to make a difference by contributing to charitable endeavors.

Here are our Current Founding Associates:

super starStan Prokopenko  Stan Prokopenko Fine Art

Stan helped us with the first giant step... Creation of our first website design.

Stan Prokopenko is one of the top under 30 painters in America (Southwest Magazine). He is a professor of painting and drawing at Watts Atelier of the Arts. Stan is the creator and owner of Prokofolio Websites for Artists. Stan has received many prestigious awards including: Winning a national contest for a short film "A Game of Pool", shown on American Airlines (while in high school); designated as a Presidential Scholar in the Arts; and top awards in many painting competitions. Stan recently won the prestigious California Art Club’s Centennial Logo Competition. Stan Prokopenko is now providing free educational videos on drawing and painting at

A very nice guy who just happens to be a boy genius.

super starSteve Rossman

Steve Rossman was the second giant step. He was Art for Bark’s first Mentor Artist. Steve is a skilled and creative advisor. Most of us are lucky to have one prominent skill. Steve has so many we lost count. Steve was a co-owner of Exponents, a San Diego company that produces exhibits for trade shows, museums and retail environments. Steve is modest by nature, but we will disclose that he had the good fortune, early in his career, to work on a proposed trade show design with Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple.

Steve Rossman is an accomplished photographer, specializing in fine art imagery. His other professional talents include: teaching artist’s how to photograph their work; creating simple websites for artist and clients; commercial graphic design; photography for Real Estate marketing; and writing for national magazines including a regular column for Metal Clay Today Magazine. Besides Steve’s marketing and design skills, he is a very astute advisor on general business strategies. More importantly, Steve is one of the most giving and kind individuals you will ever encounter. Steve Rossman is a Founding Board Member of Art for Barks Board.

super starUC San Diego Digital Arts Center:
John Lane: and Harold Hamernik:

Sometimes luck blesses a startup Nonprofit. The Digital Arts Center at the University of California, San Diego, was very helpful in the exploration of our initial design and programming projects. Their design team had the ability to offer the diverse and complex skills required for a successful Internet project.

The UCSD Digital Center is generous in offering their services to Nonprofits who need complex assistance in programing, web and general graphic design, mobile apps, video & editing, front and backend coding, illustration, concept development and casual gaming. It is amazing that we were fortunate enough to become a living case study for their outstanding students and stellar professional staff.

super starRancho Santa Fe Foundation:
Christy Wilson: Executive Director

Rancho Santa Fe Foundation is a community foundation that assists donors in purposeful giving, charitable fund management, grant building, and evaluating local and regional charitable needs. Christy Wilson, the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation executive director, has been a profound mentor to numerous emerging Nonprofits including Art for Barks.

super starKristian Secor

Our website plan quickly evolved into a more complicated, interactive style of website. We needed a programmer with advanced, back-end, coding skills. Kris Secor came to our rescue. Kris also suggested several interesting additional features for our website.

Besides serving his website clients, Kris also teaches at the Art Institute of California and UCSD. He teaches web design, web development and search engine optimization. Kris is currently finishing his doctorate at Argosy University.

Kris is a passionate owner of two rescue dogs from Mexico, and was very supportive of our mission.

Kris was very generous in developing our website to a more advanced platform. Due to temporary health issues, Kris was not able to complete our website.

super starMFSC:  Matthew Ferry: Principal

When the needs of the Art for Barks website blossomed into requiring a more sophisticated data base driven, operational back-end, hand coded capacity, MFSC entered the picture. Matthew Ferry has an extensive background in professional software development, and has progressively succeeded in the industry for the last eighteen years. His professional experience includes significant consulting and custom software development, as well as extensive experience in executive IT leadership, having directed the business software development group for a leading media and broadcasting corporation.

Matthew Ferry and his development team bring an outstanding set of website skills to our endeavor. Matthew has exceptional communication and administrative skills, and a gracious, professional manner of delivering complex information to his clients.

super starDiane Lofshult  Advisory/Contributing Editor , Art for Barks Dog Art & Literary Journal

Diane Lofshult spent more than 30 years editing and writing for various publications, from medical and environmental textbooks to fitness and nutrition journals. She resides in rural Encinitas, California, where she enjoy spending time at nearby beaches, traveling, reading, cooking and taking Pilates classes to her heart’s content, without the pressing deadlines that defined her career.

Diane is a relentless crusader for animal rights and has been a volunteer at Rancho Coastal Humane Society since 2002, taking part in numerous educational programs for children and community outreach programs, such as Pet Food Bank for indigent pet owners. However, her favorite time at the shelter has always been walking the dogs and helping to socialize all of the animals so they are more likely to get adopted.

In the past, she has also worked with an organization that fosters senior dogs and another group (FACE) that provides funding for owners who cannot afford needed surgery for their animals. Finally, she would be remiss if she didn’t mention that she is the proud parent of two brilliant shelter dogs who adopted her on the spot and who now rule her home and heart.

super starCatherine Cunningham  Associate Editor, Art for Barks Dog Art & Literary Journal

Catherine Cunningham earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. She has had large and giant breed dogs since she was 18-months-old and currently shares her home with Heather (a Great Dane), Kali (a cat) and David (a very understanding husband).

Certified as a canine specialist in nutrition through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, she owned a pet food delivery company for 17 years. Catherine regularly consulted with clients, providing guidance in many areas of pet care and helping them select the best food and supplements for their pets. Through her company, she provided numerous rescue groups with Free and/or greatly discounted food and supplies. She also studied homeopathy and applies that knowledge to pets.

Catherine has volunteered at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center and Hemopet. Hemopet, run by Jean Dodds, DVM, is a canine blood bank and greyhound adoption center. She currently volunteers at and is on the board of directors of California Coastal Horse Rescue, a tranquil place that takes in Abused, neglected and unwanted horses, rehabilitates them and gives them another chance at a great life.

super starChristine E. Miller, M.S.

Christine E. Miller, M.S. has been a professional writer and editor for over 17 years, with her expertise evolving from marketing and business projects to articles/blogs, ghostwriting, and comprehensive copyediting of book manuscripts, reports, dissertations, and any other types of narrative that require an experienced and knowledgeable review. Also, combining her marketing experience and writing talent, she assists new authors in publishing their work by researching and composing effective and compelling book proposals, which are required to promote nonfiction books or book ideas to literary agents or publishers. Christine lives in San Diego with her youngest daughter, a black cat named Turnip, and her excessively pampered Bichon frisé. To learn more and read her blog, check out

Christine Miller, M.S. is a freelance writer and editor based in Oceanside, California. To read more about her, visit