Wildlife Trade Art & Science at the National Museum of Wildlife Art

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Wildlife Trade Art & Science at the National Museum of Wildlife Art

Our exhibition on the wildlife trade featuring 29 works from the Creature Conserve collection opens today at the world-renowned National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY https://www.wildlifeart.org/art/exhibits/

Wildlife Trade Art & Science exhibition - almost ready!

Wildlife Trade Art & Science exhibition - almost ready!

The goal of “Wildlife Trade Art & Science” is to consider the role of global wildlife trade in species extinction and to empower the viewing public to take part in conservation. Organized by Creature Conserve, the exhibition features work by artists studying the impact of global trade on endangered species. Participating artists interviewed experts, including biologists, ecologists, veterinarians, park rangers, zookeepers, sanctuary managers, and policy-makers with the international Fund for Animal Welfare, in creating highly personal, emotionally-charged, artwork that is informed by the facts.

Special thanks to CC Board member Christina Ward and her sister Julie Banks who drove the works from Rhode Island to Wyoming, and then helped with installation. 

During their travels across country, Christina and Julie introduced Percival Pangolin to as many people as they could find.

Percival Pangolin, by Rae Whiteley.

Percival Pangolin, by Rae Whiteley.

Christina, Julie and Percival Pangolin in Buffalo Gap National Grasslands.

Christina, Julie and Percival Pangolin in Buffalo Gap National Grasslands.

On this day, Christina, Jules, and Percival stopped in at a visitor center in Badlands National Park, South Dakota, and met paleontologist Ed Walsh, an expert on ancient pangolins!

On this day, Christina, Jules, and Percival stopped in at a visitor center in Badlands National Park, South Dakota, and met paleontologist Ed Walsh, an expert on ancient pangolins!

Check out our Facebook page for more about Christina's, Julie's, and Percival's travels across country.

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Travel Opportunity

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Travel Opportunity

field research:

the Ripple Effect of the Wildlife Trade

A chance for artists to get involved in conservation by exploring first hand what is happening, why it is happening, and what can be done about it. 

June 30-July 18 2017

Led by zoo and wildlife veterinarian, writer, and educator Dr. Lucy Spelman, this 3-week trip to South Africa is designed to give artists an inside look at the ripple effect of the wildlife trade on the health and well-being of the animal being traded as well as other animals, including humans. The focus will be four species in big trouble from the wildlife trade: pangolins, lions, elephants, and rhinos. Space is LIMITED to 6. 

EMAIL DRLUCY@CREATURECONSERVE.COM for details.

White Rhinoceros calf and mother, South Africa

White Rhinoceros calf and mother, South Africa

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Pop-up Art Gallery at CITES Cop17 from "Wildlife Trading & Conservation"

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Pop-up Art Gallery at CITES Cop17 from "Wildlife Trading & Conservation"

This morning we installed a Creature Conserve pop-up art gallery at the CITES Cop17 meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa. As you can see from the photos the response so far has been excellent!

We are displaying 12 canvases (reproductions) of original artwork from our summer 2016 exhibition "Wildlife Trading and Conservation" at the IFAW exhibition booth here at Cop17. 

I am in Johannesburg thanks to RISD and IFAW, both organisations that support our efforts at Creature Conserve to bring artists and scientists together. The experience so far has been amazing, if not a bit overwhelming.

CITES stands for Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species, and Cop17 for the 17th Conference of the Parties. This is an invitation only meeting, attended by government officials representing 183 countries all over the world (the "parties") and dozens of national and international non-government organisations (the "observers.") 

My role is as an observer, part of the delegation from the International Fund for Animal Welfare. I am incredibly impressed with how hard the IFAW team is working here, and hope our pop-up gallery will compliment their efforts and offer additional insight and inspiration.

Kelvin Alie (IFAW Director of Wildlife Trade and Acting VP of Animal Welfare and Conservation) and Jason Bell (IFAW Regional Director of Southern Africa and Elephant Programme) with a canvas print reproduction of "Demystify" (pangolins) by Sabrina Mortensen.

Kelvin Alie (IFAW Director of Wildlife Trade and Acting VP of Animal Welfare and Conservation) and Jason Bell (IFAW Regional Director of Southern Africa and Elephant Programme) with a canvas print reproduction of "Demystify" (pangolins) by Sabrina Mortensen.

To go along with the canvas prints, IFAW also printed post-cards to give away to visitors to the booth. Each card has the artwork on one side and the artist name/work title/artist statement on the back along with a description of the exhibition.  

Special thanks to IFAW CEO Azzedine Downes and Senior Advisor, Policy Development, Cindy Milburn for their enthusiastic and generous support, including printing the canvases and postcards here in South Africa for CITES. 

There are over 3,000 people attending the CITES Cop17, all involved in deciding the future of the world's wildlife.  It is truly an honor to be in a position to share this artwork with them..

Within a hour of setting up the gallery, I started to hear the question, "Can I buy it?" Fortunately, the answer is, "YES."  We have just launched an Exclusive Print sale on Esty, thanks to CC Board Member Christina Ward.  The link below will take you to the online shop. The images are printed on archival paper, ranging in size from 7" x 9" to 11 x 14" and priced at $45 with $25 from each sale going to Creature Conserve.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Colors4Conservation?ref=hdr_shop_menu&section_id=19955387

The good news - and this is VERY exciting - we are exploring options for a traveling version of the exhibition in 2017 that would include all 34 works from the original exhibition - 2D, 3D and film/animation/video. 

After the conference, I will be exploring possible locations in South Africa for a future art/science course for RISD.  More soon.

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CHIMPANZEE Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

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CHIMPANZEE Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

Chimpanzees were once considered so plentiful  - in the wild as well as in captivity - they did not need our protection. That situation has changed. 

From the brochure:

CHIMPANZEES, Pan troglodytes (ENDANGERED), are found in the forests and woodlands of equatorial Africa. In addition to tool use, they are capable of planning a hunt or organizing an attack against their rivals. They are at risk because of the pet trade as well as the bush meat (hunting of wildlife for food) trade. 

Kyle Simmers The Hands that Bind / The Ties that Feed Illustration: Scratchboard assemblage, 18 x 48 in. Bushmeat will continue to provide short-term calories and the pet trade will promise hope. If we are to save the Chimpanzee from extinction, it is vital that we understand the complex motivations behind their predation by human hunters.  

Kyle Simmers
The Hands that Bind / The Ties that Feed
Illustration: Scratchboard assemblage, 18 x 48 in.

Bushmeat will continue to provide short-term calories and the pet trade will promise hope. If we are to save the Chimpanzee from extinction, it is vital that we understand the complex motivations behind their predation by human hunters.

 

Natalie Tyler Trophy Sculpture: Cast crystal, 12 x 12 x 12 in. In this sculpture, I redefine the concept of animal as trophy. I replace the real animal trophy with the artistic rendition of the animal in a way that honors the creature rather than destroys it. We can then possess the art about the animal, rather than the animal itself, allowing it to remain alive and in the wild.  

Natalie Tyler
Trophy
Sculpture: Cast crystal, 12 x 12 x 12 in.

In this sculpture, I redefine the concept of animal as trophy. I replace the real animal trophy with the artistic rendition of the animal in a way that honors the creature rather than destroys it. We can then possess the art about the animal, rather than the animal itself, allowing it to remain alive and in the wild.

 

Chimpanzee graphic (banner) by Christina Ward

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RHINOCEROS Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

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RHINOCEROS Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

As with many species, we know how to conserve RHINOS.  We just have to do it!

From the brochure:

There are five species of RHINOCEROS. Each has distinctive features that reflect their habitat. In sub-Saharan Africa, Black Rhinos, Diceros bicornis (CRITICALLY ENDANGERED), have a prehensile upper lip for browsing leaves and branches. White Rhinos, Ceratotherium simum (NEAR THREATENED), have wide, at lips for grazing. Both species have hard footpads, like horse hooves, for running on hard ground. The rhinos of tropical Asia include the greater one-horned or Asian Rhino, Rhinoceros unicornis (VULNERABLE), the Javan Rhino, Rhinoceros sondaicus, (CR), and the Sumatran Rhino, Dicerorhinus sumatrensis (CRITICALLY ENDANGERED). Rhinos are killed for their horn, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine and for decorative carvings.

Shou Jie Eng Horns Collage: Graphite, ink, gouache, PLA, paper, OSB, 48 x 14 x 48 in. The rhinoceros horn trade receives rightful focus from conservationists for the danger it poses (and has already posed) to the survival of both the African white and black rhinoceros species. The piece explores the irrationality of the demand for rhinoceros horn, seeing as it has been struck from traditional Chinese medicine manuals and has also been proven to have negligible medical effects under laboratory conditions.   

Shou Jie Eng
Horns
Collage: Graphite, ink, gouache, PLA, paper, OSB, 48 x 14 x 48 in.

The rhinoceros horn trade receives rightful focus from conservationists for the danger it poses (and has already posed) to the survival of both the African white and black rhinoceros species. The piece explores the irrationality of the demand for rhinoceros horn, seeing as it has been struck from traditional Chinese medicine manuals and has also been proven to have negligible medical effects under laboratory conditions. 

 

Mara Trachtenberg Untitled (White Rhinoceros) Inkjet print, wood, fondant, styrofoam, royal icing, 14.25 x 20 x 25 in. The collaboration with Creature Conserve was an opportunity to explore in a new way, the power dynamics within the nature/human relationship that I explore in my work, A Decadent World Topiary Garden. In this series, sugar sculpture, animals, and animal human hybrids are symbolic of this relationship. The photograph and diorama of the white rhino shows the beauty and destruction inherent in the human relationship with nature. 

Mara Trachtenberg
Untitled (White Rhinoceros)
Inkjet print, wood, fondant, styrofoam, royal icing, 14.25 x 20 x 25 in.

The collaboration with Creature Conserve was an opportunity to explore in a new way, the power dynamics within the nature/human relationship that I explore in my work, A Decadent World Topiary Garden. In this series, sugar sculpture, animals, and animal human hybrids are symbolic of this relationship. The photograph and diorama of the white rhino shows the beauty and destruction inherent in the human relationship with nature. 

Rhinoceros graphic (banner) by Christina Ward

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SHARK Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

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SHARK Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

The word, shark, conjures up an image of a large scary finned animal with a long snout and gnashing teeth. But sharks are so much more. Basking sharks, for example, eat only plankton. Thresher sharks use their tails to kill prey. Hammerhead sharks swim in schools during the day and hunt alone at night. The first step in protecting this amazing group of animals is learning more about them.  

From the brochure:

SHARKS are found worldwide and include nearly four hundred species. All have an excellent sense of taste and can detect tiny amounts of chemicals in water– as little as one drop of blood; they can also can pick up electrical signals as tiny as those created by the muscles of their prey. Dozens of species of shark are being driven to extinction because of “finning,” the harvesting of just their fins for soup, including Great Hammerhead Sharks, Sphyrna mokarran (ENDANGERED), Thresher Sharks, Alopias species (VULNERABLE), and Whale Sharks, Rhincodon typus (VULNERABLE).

Codi Fant Cheers to the Bride and Groom Sculpture: Mixed materials, 36 x 36 x 60 in. We need to make “finning” and the resulting loss of sharks more real, and more repulsive in order to radically change people’s opinions. We need to stop consuming a dish that has been a cultural symbol for centuries because there simply are not enough sharks. Stop the demand, and we can stop the decline.  

Codi Fant
Cheers to the Bride and Groom
Sculpture: Mixed materials, 36 x 36 x 60 in.

We need to make “finning” and the resulting loss of sharks more real, and more repulsive in order to radically change people’s opinions. We need to stop consuming a dish that has been a cultural symbol for centuries because there simply are not enough sharks. Stop the demand, and we can stop the decline.

 

Lee Fearnside Swimming in Shark Fin Soup Animation: Digital, 8 x 12 x 2 in. The process we followed for this exhibition was especially compelling for me as an artist. Often, I make my work in isolation, but the connection to scientists and IFAW staff allowed me to see how each piece fits together as part of a holistic approach to animal conservation....My goal with this photo-based animation is to make the audience aware that the whale shark’s life cycle is affected by not only human predation but also by human behavior.  

Lee Fearnside
Swimming in Shark Fin Soup
Animation: Digital, 8 x 12 x 2 in.

The process we followed for this exhibition was especially compelling for me as an artist. Often, I make my work in isolation, but the connection to scientists and IFAW staff allowed me to see how each piece fits together as part of a holistic approach to animal conservation....My goal with this photo-based animation is to make the audience aware that the whale shark’s life cycle is affected by not only human predation but also by human behavior.

 

Derek Miranda Rhincodon typus Painting: Oil on canvas, 56 x 121.5 in. The Whale Shark, the largest fish in the ocean, is an animal that captures our imagination. In some cultures, we revere it, believing it connected to the heavens and stars. But its populations are dwindling and it is now endangered.  In this piece I am attempting to capture the imposing and humbling presence of the Whale Shark, while simultaneously denying it. By removing the image and leaving the remnants of a massive painting, I hope to present to the viewer the emotional toll of their potential loss. The question is  "What would an ocean be like without Whale Sharks?”

Derek Miranda
Rhincodon typus
Painting: Oil on canvas, 56 x 121.5 in.

The Whale Shark, the largest fish in the ocean, is an animal that captures our imagination. In some cultures, we revere it, believing it connected to the heavens and stars. But its populations are dwindling and it is now endangered.  In this piece I am attempting to capture the imposing and humbling presence of the Whale Shark, while simultaneously denying it. By removing the image and leaving the remnants of a massive painting, I hope to present to the viewer the emotional toll of their potential loss. The question is  "What would an ocean be like without Whale Sharks?”

Shark graphic (banner) by Christina Ward

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TIGER Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

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TIGER Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

As part of the creative process for this exhibition, we spoke to experts about the wildlife trade. From participating artist Insil Choi, "I was surprised to learn during a conference call with Grace de Gabriel, IFAW’s regional director for Asia programs, that the main problem is simple ignorance. She explained that many consumers of tiger parts do not know the ugly facts. They have no idea about the process of wildlife farming and trading."

From the brochure: 

There are six sub-species of TIGER, Panthera tigris (all are ENDANGERED), throughout Asia. They socialize through scent-markings and scratch marks; one male’s territory may overlap that of many females. Tigers are endangered because of trophy hunting for pelts, teeth, claws, and, for tiger parts including bones used to make ceremonial wind and traditional medicine, despite lack of evidence that they produce health benefits.

Insil Choi Take me home Painting: Gouache, digitally printed and enlarged My intent with this piece is to create intrigue and encourage the viewer to compare and contrast the precious beauty of a living tiger with an animal kept as a skin product in a cage. I hope people will feel enough anger or guilt to change their behavior about wildlife trading.   

Insil Choi
Take me home
Painting: Gouache, digitally printed and enlarged

My intent with this piece is to create intrigue and encourage the viewer to compare and contrast the precious beauty of a living tiger with an animal kept as a skin product in a cage. I hope people will feel enough anger or guilt to change their behavior about wildlife trading. 

 

Emily Schnall Snared Juvenile Sculpture: papier mâché, acrylic, 24 x 24 x 72 in. This piece is intended to address directly the poaching of wild tigers and indirectly the exploitation of captive tigers and the trade in tiger parts. Before we can make a bid to help these animals it is essential that we become more self-conscious and understand human attitudes toward them.   

Emily Schnall
Snared Juvenile
Sculpture: papier mâché, acrylic, 24 x 24 x 72 in.

This piece is intended to address directly the poaching of wild tigers and indirectly the exploitation of captive tigers and the trade in tiger parts. Before we can make a bid to help these animals it is essential that we become more self-conscious and understand human attitudes toward them. 

 

Jimmy Xia Fragility of the Amur Illustration: Digital, Archival Inkjet print, 24 x 48 in. In this piece I am exploring the current threats to the Amur Tiger by combining two artistic methods, animated and scientific illustration. By collaborating with scientists and animal experts, I now have a more intimate understanding of the personalities of these tigers as well as the problems they currently face in the wild.   

Jimmy Xia
Fragility of the Amur
Illustration: Digital, Archival Inkjet print, 24 x 48 in.

In this piece I am exploring the current threats to the Amur Tiger by combining two artistic methods, animated and scientific illustration. By collaborating with scientists and animal experts, I now have a more intimate understanding of the personalities of these tigers as well as the problems they currently face in the wild. 

 

Tiger graphic (banner) by Christina Ward

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AFRICAN GREY PARROT Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

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AFRICAN GREY PARROT Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

The African grey parrot is another species of bird in deep trouble from a combination of the pet trade combined with habitat loss. Though they are bred in captivity in some countries, breeding stock birds continue to be taken from the wild. Many captive parrots, far removed from their forest homes, also suffer from behavioral problems. The solution is clear: stop the trade of wild birds and increase protections on their environment. 

From the brochure:

AFRICAN GREY PARROTS, Psittacus erithacus (VULNERABLE), are found in the rainforests of west and central Africa. They often forage on the ground for palm nuts, seeds, fruits, leaves, and sometimes snails. Thousands are taken out of the wild each year for their feathers and, because of their intelligence and ability to mimic human speech, as pets. 

Nicholas Jainschigg African Grey - Indulgence Two Sculpture: Oil on carved basswood, laser cut metal, glass eye, 15 x 24 x 3.5 in. African Grey - Indulgence Two references Medieval allegory, Victorian taxidermy mounts, Cathedral screens and bird cages.   

Nicholas Jainschigg
African Grey - Indulgence Two
Sculpture: Oil on carved basswood, laser cut metal, glass eye, 15 x 24 x 3.5 in.

African Grey - Indulgence Two references Medieval allegory, Victorian taxidermy mounts, Cathedral screens and bird cages. 

 

Luci Jockel Caged Sculpture: African Grey Parrot skull, feathers, steel, beeswax, 2 x 2 x 4 in. Caged is a memorial for African Grey Parrots. These birds are declining as a result of habitat destruction and the pet trade. Caged allows us to grieve and reflect on the parrots who have suffered as pets in our home.   

Luci Jockel
Caged
Sculpture: African Grey Parrot skull, feathers, steel, beeswax, 2 x 2 x 4 in.

Caged is a memorial for African Grey Parrots. These birds are declining as a result of habitat destruction and the pet trade. Caged allows us to grieve and reflect on the parrots who have suffered as pets in our home. 

 

Celine Schmidt CAPTIVating Parrots Sculpture: Mixed materials, 30 x 30 x 30 in. The mirrors in the cage and bird toys of this piece reflect scenes from the African Grey’s natural habitat, but only one small shard at a time.   

Celine Schmidt
CAPTIVating Parrots
Sculpture: Mixed materials, 30 x 30 x 30 in.

The mirrors in the cage and bird toys of this piece reflect scenes from the African Grey’s natural habitat, but only one small shard at a time. 

 

Rose Scully Diego Eating a Slim Jim Sculpture: Mixed materials, 10 x 8 x 10 in. Please take a stand for the African Grey Parrot, if not for those of us already caged as pets, then for those who are left in the wild.  

Rose Scully
Diego Eating a Slim Jim
Sculpture: Mixed materials, 10 x 8 x 10 in.

Please take a stand for the African Grey Parrot, if not for those of us already caged as pets, then for those who are left in the wild.  

African grey parrot graphic (banner) by Christina Ward

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RED AND GREEN MACAW Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

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RED AND GREEN MACAW Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

The wildlife trade continues to be a huge threat to all species of macaw and parrot. The numbers do not tell the whole story. These birds are plentiful where their forest habitats remain intact, making them relatively easy to capture. Now is the time to actively protect them. Otherwise, the Red and Green macaw will go the way of the Lear's macaw, safe enough in captivity, but gone from the wild.

From the brochure: 

RED AND GREEN MACAWS, or green-winged macaws, Ara chloropterus (LEAST CONCERN) are found in tropical forests and woodlands of southern Central America and northern to mid South America. Their diet in the wild includes clay, which they eat to counteract the toxins found in many of their preferred foods, including cashews and palm fruit. Though their population numbers are high enough to keep them off the endangered species list, they are increasingly in trouble from the pet trade. 

Pedro Busana A Study of the Breeding Behavior of the Lear’s Macaw Illustration: Digital, Archival inkjet print In the 1980’s there were just sixty Lear’s Macaws; since then this species has been bred in captivity with some success; the population now is estimated at 1,200 individuals. For this piece, I used reproductive behavior ethogram data provided by zoo researcher Gabriela Rodrigues Favorettoone.   

Pedro Busana
A Study of the Breeding Behavior of the Lear’s Macaw
Illustration: Digital, Archival inkjet print

In the 1980’s there were just sixty Lear’s Macaws; since then this species has been bred in captivity with some success; the population now is estimated at 1,200 individuals. For this piece, I used reproductive behavior ethogram data provided by zoo researcher Gabriela Rodrigues Favorettoone. 

 

Wen Hsu Mesh, Beak and Feather Collage: Embroidery, pencil and ink on watercolor paper, 16 x 17 in. Through the papers and talks provided by the collaboration with scientists, experts, and the IFAW staff, I was able to delve further into a situation I had only seen occasionally and superficially... I chose embroidery because it is a medium traditionally used to create beautiful and luxurious fabrics. It is also labor intensive, and the process gave me time to contemplate and process my own feelings of sadness, anger and impotence.   

Wen Hsu
Mesh, Beak and Feather
Collage: Embroidery, pencil and ink on watercolor paper, 16 x 17 in.

Through the papers and talks provided by the collaboration with scientists, experts, and the IFAW staff, I was able to delve further into a situation I had only seen occasionally and superficially... I chose embroidery because it is a medium traditionally used to create beautiful and luxurious fabrics. It is also labor intensive, and the process gave me time to contemplate and process my own feelings of sadness, anger and impotence. 

 

Emily Poole Pondering Parrots Illustration: Watercolor, gouache This work explores three points from which we fail these birds: when a Red and Green Macaw is taken from its nest and treated as a tradable object rather than a sentient being; when a bird is kept as a pet in an environment that does not meet its complex dietary, physical, and social needs; when a bird’s identity is forced to change as it passes through multiple homes.  

Emily Poole
Pondering Parrots
Illustration: Watercolor, gouache

This work explores three points from which we fail these birds: when a Red and Green Macaw is taken from its nest and treated as a tradable object rather than a sentient being; when a bird is kept as a pet in an environment that does not meet its complex dietary, physical, and social needs; when a bird’s identity is forced to change as it passes through multiple homes.

 

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HAWKSBILL SEA TURTLE Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

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HAWKSBILL SEA TURTLE Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

All seven species of sea turtle are in trouble because of human impacts, especially the one favored for its beautiful "tortoiseshell" carapace, the Hawksbill. One way to help, as with ivory, rhino horn, bear bile, and tiger claw, is to make certain you NEVER buy the real thing. 

From the brochure...

HAWKSBILL SEA TURTLES, Eretmochelys imbricata (CRITICALLY ENDANGERED) are found world- wide. They spend most of their time in the open ocean before returning to the beach where they were hatched to lay their own eggs. Like many egg-laying reptiles, warmer sand temperatures in the next produce female hatchlings, cooler ones produce males. Like all seven species of sea turtle, the Hawksbill is in trouble because of harvesting their eggs and meat for food and their shells for carvings and jewelry, and because of by-catch.

Talia Connelly Not Just Leisure Textile Design: Jacquard-woven, synthetic mesh, 24 x 24 x 60 in. While poaching remains a key threat to Hawksbill Turtle populations, often overlooked are the consequences of tourism. Not Just Leisure's reinvention of a traditional scuba ensemble calls for conservation efforts to support the development of conscientious tourist models.  

Talia Connelly
Not Just Leisure
Textile Design: Jacquard-woven, synthetic mesh, 24 x 24 x 60 in.

While poaching remains a key threat to Hawksbill Turtle populations, often overlooked are the consequences of tourism. Not Just Leisure's reinvention of a traditional scuba ensemble calls for conservation efforts to support the development of conscientious tourist models.

 

Julie Ghrist, Esteban Pliego, Escareño Patricia Pagnucco, and school children in Tulum, México with Art of Conservation If a turtle egg is broken by an outside force, its life ends; if broken from within, life begins Collage: acrylic, papier mâché, watercolor on canvas, 32 x 40 in. This piece includes a mosaic of children’s watercolors glued to the canvas to form the arms and hands; these depict the human presence that is both part of the destruction and the preservation of this turtle species. We hope that the painting conveys that the future of the Hawksbill turtle is up to us.  

Julie Ghrist, Esteban Pliego, Escareño Patricia Pagnucco, and school children in Tulum, México with Art of Conservation
If a turtle egg is broken by an outside force, its life ends; if broken from within, life begins
Collage: acrylic, papier mâché, watercolor on canvas, 32 x 40 in.

This piece includes a mosaic of children’s watercolors glued to the canvas to form the arms and hands; these depict the human presence that is both part of the destruction and the preservation of this turtle species. We hope that the painting conveys that the future of the Hawksbill turtle is up to us.

 

Rae Whiteley Plight of the Hawksbill Turtle: Poached, Tangled, Carved Ink on clayboard, 9 x 36 in. Although basic protections are in place in many parts of the world for marine turtles, the legislation is neither consistent nor universal. By clarifying the dangers these turtles face, I hope to inspire my audience to do further research and take action to save them.  

Rae Whiteley
Plight of the Hawksbill Turtle: Poached, Tangled, Carved
Ink on clayboard, 9 x 36 in.

Although basic protections are in place in many parts of the world for marine turtles, the legislation is neither consistent nor universal. By clarifying the dangers these turtles face, I hope to inspire my audience to do further research and take action to save them.

 

Hawksbill sea turtle graphic (banner) by Christina Ward

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PANGOLIN Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

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PANGOLIN Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

When I meet people interested in Creature Conserve, I am quick to point out our logo. I continue by explaining that the pangolin is the most traded animal in the world, and that all 8 species are in big trouble. More often than not, I realize I need to say more and add, "It may have sounded like I said penguin, but I didn't. I said PANG-O-LIN, also known as the scaly anteater." 

From the "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation" brochure:

There are eight species of PANGOLINS, four in Asia (Manis species, (ENDANGERED TO CRITICALLY ENDANGERED) and four in Africa (two Phataginus species and two Smutsia species, (both VULNERABLE). They are similar to anteaters with a very long tongue and no teeth; they are also similar to birds with a thick stomach wall that helps to grind up their diet of ants and termites. They are the most trafficked mammal in the world, for their meat in ceremonial dishes and their scales in traditional medicine and for jewelry.

Carissa Abatabilo Species…Not Status Sculpture:  Clay with Animation, 24 x 24 in. The beauty of the pangolin—and the need to protect it—was my inspiration for this piece. In this animation, I explore the texture of the pangolin’s hide, and contrast that with the texture of the environment in which it is hunted and consumed as a healing commodity in Eastern medical practice.    

Carissa Abatabilo
Species…Not Status
Sculpture:  Clay with Animation, 24 x 24 in.

The beauty of the pangolin—and the need to protect it—was my inspiration for this piece. In this animation, I explore the texture of the pangolin’s hide, and contrast that with the texture of the environment in which it is hunted and consumed as a healing commodity in Eastern medical practice.  

 

Hazel Elsbach A Pangolin is Not a Fruit Illustration: Graphite, woodcut, series of 6.5 x 10 in. drawings on wall and on table. The wall of sketches symbolizes a quilt of misinformation. The blank sheets of paper stand for our failure to take action, and the act of making a rubbing (print) pulls the truth into focus. I hope to encourage others to do their own exploration of the problem of wildlife trade, as this project has done for me.

Hazel Elsbach
A Pangolin is Not a Fruit
Illustration: Graphite, woodcut, series of 6.5 x 10 in. drawings on wall and on table.

The wall of sketches symbolizes a quilt of misinformation. The blank sheets of paper stand for our failure to take action, and the act of making a rubbing (print) pulls the truth into focus. I hope to encourage others to do their own exploration of the problem of wildlife trade, as this project has done for me.

Angela Hseih Moving Object Animation: Digital, monitor. A topic as expansive as conservation is greater than the sum of its parts, yet it must be broken down in order for us to understand it. Our conversations with IFAW experts gave me a glimpse into what I now see as a monumental and complex effort to save the pangolin.   

Angela Hseih
Moving Object
Animation: Digital, monitor.

A topic as expansive as conservation is greater than the sum of its parts, yet it must be broken down in order for us to understand it. Our conversations with IFAW experts gave me a glimpse into what I now see as a monumental and complex effort to save the pangolin. 

 

Sabrina Mortensen Demystify – 2016 Illustration: Digital, Archival inkjet print, 7 x 9 in. We need to demystify and separate the real animal (the pangolin) that is in need of our help, from the romantic imaginary one. Otherwise, this rare scaly mammal will disappear before it is known, and before we know it.  

Sabrina Mortensen
Demystify – 2016
Illustration: Digital, Archival inkjet print, 7 x 9 in.

We need to demystify and separate the real animal (the pangolin) that is in need of our help, from the romantic imaginary one. Otherwise, this rare scaly mammal will disappear before it is known, and before we know it.

 

Yixuan Wang What Are You Looking For? Digital, acrylic mirror In this piece I seek to acknowledge the damaging way in which humans project their own desires onto wild animals, including the consumption of pangolin scales for medicine and meat for fancy meals. At the same time, I hope to give the viewer a chance to question their priorities and change their behavior.    

Yixuan Wang
What Are You Looking For?
Digital, acrylic mirror

In this piece I seek to acknowledge the damaging way in which humans project their own desires onto wild animals, including the consumption of pangolin scales for medicine and meat for fancy meals. At the same time, I hope to give the viewer a chance to question their priorities and change their behavior.  

 

Pangolin graphic (banner) by Christina Ward

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ELEPHANT Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

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ELEPHANT Artwork from "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation"

From the exhibition brochure:

ELEPHANTS are found in India and Southeast Asia - Elephas maximus (ENDANGERED according to the IUCN) - and in sub-Saharan Africa - Loxodonta africana (VULNERABLE according to the IUCN). The largest land mammal, they communicate by making sounds that range from low-frequency rumbles we are unable to hear, to high-pitched, high-volume trumpet calls. Dozens of elephants die each day in Africa—over 100/day during the first half of 2016— for their ivory.

Natalie Darmohraj Untitled Textile Design: Wool, mohair, 32 x 44 in. I learned from IFAW that many who buy ivory do not know the animal has to die in order for this commodity to be harvested. The stitch patterning and visual aspects of this piece reflect the complex social lives of elephants, which is in my view far more valuable than a piece of dead tooth.   

Natalie Darmohraj
Untitled
Textile Design: Wool, mohair, 32 x 44 in.

I learned from IFAW that many who buy ivory do not know the animal has to die in order for this commodity to be harvested. The stitch patterning and visual aspects of this piece reflect the complex social lives of elephants, which is in my view far more valuable than a piece of dead tooth. 

 

Andrew Freiband Preliminary Narrative Inquiry into Human-Elephant Relations in Uganda  - 2016 Video: 2-channel, 96 x 100 in. This work lays out a 'data set' of inquiry into the narrative and causative relationships between human beings living and working around Uganda's Murchison Falls National Park, and the rebounding elephant population there.  

Andrew Freiband
Preliminary Narrative Inquiry into Human-Elephant Relations in Uganda  - 2016
Video: 2-channel, 96 x 100 in.

This work lays out a 'data set' of inquiry into the narrative and causative relationships between human beings living and working around Uganda's Murchison Falls National Park, and the rebounding elephant population there.

 

Angela Gram Sumatran Elephant Painting: Oil on canvas, 40 x 48 in. This piece is informed by discussions with scientists and IFAW staff about Asian Elephant defense behavior and threat displays, as well as by scientific literature about habitat loss and the resulting fragmentation of increasingly isolated elephant populations on the island of Sumatra.   

Angela Gram
Sumatran Elephant
Painting: Oil on canvas, 40 x 48 in.

This piece is informed by discussions with scientists and IFAW staff about Asian Elephant defense behavior and threat displays, as well as by scientific literature about habitat loss and the resulting fragmentation of increasingly isolated elephant populations on the island of Sumatra. 

 

Traer Scott One Hundred and Four Photograph: Archival inkjet wall application, 45 in. wide An estimated one hundred and four African Elephants are slaughtered by ivory poachers every day in Africa. This piece is a visual representation of that data, a predictable pattern of death which combined with habitat loss, has lead the African Elephant population to a state of official vulnerability.   

Traer Scott
One Hundred and Four
Photograph: Archival inkjet wall application, 45 in. wide

An estimated one hundred and four African Elephants are slaughtered by ivory poachers every day in Africa. This piece is a visual representation of that data, a predictable pattern of death which combined with habitat loss, has lead the African Elephant population to a state of official vulnerability. 

 

To learn from the scientists who study endangered plants and animals, visit the website of the IUCN, International Union for the Conservation of Nature. 
http://www.iucn.org/theme/species/about/ssc-specialist-groups-and-red-list-authorities-directory

Graphic Elephant (banner) by Christina Ward

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LION Artwork from "Wildlife Trading and Conservation"

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LION Artwork from "Wildlife Trading and Conservation"

This is the first of a series of ten blog posts featuring the work of the 33 artists participating in "Wildlife: Trading and Conservation."  All have generously offered to loan or donate their works to Creature Conserve so the exhibition can travel, and we are now working on the next venue. 

In the meantime, it is my privilege to share with you my photos of their artwork and an excerpt from their artist statements.

The goal of this exhibition is to consider the role of global wildlife trade in driving dozens of species to extinction, while harming human lives and livelihoods; and to empower the viewing public to take part in conservation.  

We begin with the LION, the animal that motivated me to start Creature Conserve. From the exhibition brochure: 

LIONS, Panthera leo (listed as VULNERABLE by the IUCN) are found in sub-Saharan Africa. While most cats are solitary lions are the exception, and are the most social; related females in a pride will often nurse each other’s cubs. Lions are in trouble because of trophy hunting for their pelts, claws, and teeth, as well as for the bush meat (hunting of wildlife for food) trade.

Chloé Bulpin Long Live the King Illustration: Digitial, Archival inkjet print, 19 x 26 in. Maasai warriors have made remarkable changes from their age-old “warriorhood” tradition of hunting lions to one that designates the men as Lion Guardians. In this piece, I aim to tell this narrative from the lion’s perspective.

Chloé Bulpin
Long Live the King
Illustration: Digitial, Archival inkjet print, 19 x 26 in.

Maasai warriors have made remarkable changes from their age-old “warriorhood” tradition of hunting lions to one that designates the men as Lion Guardians. In this piece, I aim to tell this narrative from the lion’s perspective.

Paul Olson Lion Space Sculpture: Stoneware, steel, aluminum, twine, 48 x 48 x 48 in. The delicate web of life on planet Earth is at the tipping point; some would say well beyond it. The only way to save Panthera leo as a wild species is to preserve and protect the huge wilderness it needs to survive in a world of humans.

Paul Olson
Lion Space
Sculpture: Stoneware, steel, aluminum, twine, 48 x 48 x 48 in.

The delicate web of life on planet Earth is at the tipping point; some would say well beyond it. The only way to save Panthera leo as a wild species is to preserve and protect the huge wilderness it needs to survive in a world of humans.

Drea Sullivan Fledgister Graphic Design Web interface, wall mounted iPad This piece is a website mock-up that allows users to work together to summarize the many daily posts that appear on the Federal Register and then critique, discuss, share, and brainstorm relevant actions. The purpose is to promote education and awareness of legislation that will directly affect endangered and threatened species, as well as encourage people to generate and contribute to solutions.

Drea Sullivan
Fledgister
Graphic Design Web interface, wall mounted iPad

This piece is a website mock-up that allows users to work together to summarize the many daily posts that appear on the Federal Register and then critique, discuss, share, and brainstorm relevant actions. The purpose is to promote education and awareness of legislation that will directly affect endangered and threatened species, as well as encourage people to generate and contribute to solutions.

There are many ways to help LIONS. Join me in learning about them, celebrating them, and taking action to protect them.

Graphic Lion (banner) by Christina Ward

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[EXHIBITION] The Art and Science of Saving Species | OPENS JULY 14

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[EXHIBITION] The Art and Science of Saving Species | OPENS JULY 14

Please join us, and share the invitation!  The artwork will also be featured in one of our galleries once the show opens.

The need for a new, more collaborative and creative approach to saving animal species is urgent. We live in an increasingly urban world, disconnected from nature, unaware that wild animals are rapidly going extinct and that our health depends on their health. Together art and science reach a wider audience with a more inclusive message. Science provides the road map for conservation; art motivates people to follow it.

"Wildlife: Trading and Conservation" co-sponsored by Creature Conserve, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare features work by 32 visual artists studying the impact of global trade on endangered species. During the creative process, the artists interviewed a variety of animal experts, including biologists, ecologists, veterinarians, park rangers, zookeepers, sanctuary managers, and policy-makers. The result is a selection of highly personal artwork that is both informed by the facts and emotionally charged. The goal of this exhibition is to consider the role of global wildlife trade in driving dozens of species to extinction, while harming human lives and livelihoods; and to empower the viewing public to take part in conservation.

 

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Dr. Lucy's Twitter Feed

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Dr. Lucy's Twitter Feed

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Call for Proposals to exhibit in RISD's Gallery 55

Call to artists for proposals to exhibit in RIDS's Gallery 55 for a summer 2016 show on Wildlife Trading and Conservation. This is a unique opportunity for artists to learn about the ways wildlife trade impacts a particular animal species, via initial self-directed research and in collaboration with scientists and wildlife experts, including International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) staff. Proposals are due April 8 (extended by 1 week); artwork July 4. The show will run July 14 - Aug 7 and be open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and Saturday night for WaterFire.

If you are interested and would like to discuss your ideas first, please feel free to email Dr. Lucy Spelman at drlucy@creatureconserve.com to set up a phone conversation. Submissions should be emailed as a pdf to drlucy@creatureconserve.com by April 8, 2016.  For the full CFP see www.creatureconserve.com/art-shows/ or go to this link for the PDF.

Poster CFP Wildife Trading Conservation Show 2016.jpg

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Call to Artists

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Call to Artists

GALLERY SHOW - Wildlife: Trading and Conservation

Call for Proposals to exhibit in gallery 55 at the rhode island school of design, summer 2016

Creature Conserve, Rhode Island School of Design (Division of Liberal Arts and Department of Illustration), and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) invite RISD faculty, alumni, students and other members of the RISD Community to submit proposals for a gallery show, “Wildlife: Trading and Conservation.”

This is a unique opportunity for artists to learn about the ways wildlife trade impacts a particular animal species, via initial self-directed research and in collaboration with field scientists and IFAW staff. Through this project, artists may build lasting connections with members of the scientific community and become a part of the effort to bring these fields together to communicate and solve problems associated with the global wildlife trade. This show will demonstrate that when combined, art and science deepen our understanding of the problems facing animals today and inspire us to create fresh solutions.

Please see the complete call for proposals below. If you are interested and would like to discuss your ideas first, please feel free to email Dr. Lucy Spelman at drlucy@creatureconserve.com to set up a phone conversation. Submissions should be emailed as a pdf to drlucy@creatureconserve.com by April 1, 2016. 

Gallery Show Wildlife: Trading and Conservation Call For Proposals

FOR BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE ANIMALS IN THE SHOW SEE THIS LINK

2016 Creature Conserve Art Show Wildlife Trade Animal Information

 

 

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CREATURE IN TROUBLE: Sumatran rhino

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CREATURE IN TROUBLE: Sumatran rhino

Only 100 remain, years of talk but not enough action, and iron overload.

I had the honor of meeting and photographing Harapan the Sumatran rhino in 2009 at White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, FL.

I had the honor of meeting and photographing Harapan the Sumatran rhino in 2009 at White Oak Conservation Center in Yulee, FL.

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