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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