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'Grumpy Cat' becomes artistic muse for online auction

Judson Portzer holds up his painting of Grumpy Cat, which took him three days to complete. The artist has been painting on glass for 11 yearsToday

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 Kristy Jane From-Brown's charcoal rendering of Grumpy Cat. Today

She’s been an Internet celebrity, morning show guest, South by Southwest star and magazine cover girl. And now, Tardar Sauce aka “Grumpy Cat,” the sourpuss that’s spawned a million memes, can add a new role to the list: Artist’s muse.

Over 30 artists at Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment in Huntsville, Alabama, are contributing to “The Grumpy Cat Art Project,” a collection of artworks inspired by the famous feline and her frown. These artistic interpretations of the cat, made out of anything from painted glass to chainmaille, will be auctioned off online from May 27 to May 31. Proceeds from the project will go towards various programs and a children’s playground at the art center, which provides studio space for 100 working artists.

“The main idea was to get people’s attention,” Dustin Timbrook, the project’s brainchild, told TODAY.com. “We knew Grumpy Cat would grab plenty of people, and she’s an expressive subject.”

Artist Erin Michael captured that famous expression in a chainmaille “painting” made with over 1,300 metal rings in a variety of colors.

 Erin Michael poses with her portrait made from over 1,000 tiny rings. Today

“The ring-by-ring assembly for chainmaille is the same that’s been around since the days of the knights, but using a palette of colors is creating it in an innovative way,” she said in an email. “It’s bit tedious, but since I've already done a number of chainmaille paintings, including my version of ‘The Scream,’ I figured this was the perfect way to contribute to the project.”

Hers isn’t the only work with medieval influences. Glass-painter Judson Portzer created a portrait of Tardar Sauce as a knight, with the moniker “Sir Grumpsalot” underneath.

“I didn’t realize that Grumpy Cat was a girl,” he chuckled.

 Judson Portzer holds up his painting of Grumpy Cat, which took him three days to complete. The artist has been painting on glass for 11 years Today

Portzer loves cats and has two of his own, so he was eager to come up with something inspired by the Internet's favorite feline.

Of course, not everyone around the Mill had heard of Grumpy Cat when Timbrook first proposed the idea. Let’s just say some of these artists are more into working with their hands than with the click of a mouse.

But as is to be expected, Tardar Sauce won them over soon after Timbrook passed around a few photos. And the rest is Grumpy Cat art history.

Take a look at more of their creations below:

 Dustin Timbrook poses with his painting of Tardar Sauce's face transposed on Lowe Mill's iconic water tower. Today
 Emily Bodnar shows off her Grumpy Cat snowflakes. Today
 Animal lover and artist Tracey Allyn Greene painted that funny frown on a rock. Today
 Jeannie Vereen hand-hooked this miniature wool rug. Today
 Joe Williams made a wax sculpture for his interpretation of the cat. Today
 Tardar Sauce looking very dignified in this portrait by Ann Moeller Steverson. Today
 Tracy Singleton's Grumpy Cat soap. Today
 Jennifer Stottle Taylor painted Grumpy Cat with friends. Today
 Katherine Purves used paper pulp to create her portrait. Today
 Calvin Hubbard made this sweet ceramic sculpture. Today



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