Aug 26, 2007

Wildlife Art and Wildlife Conservation ... Why the Gap?

I have been a supporter of the National Wildlife Federation since I was a teen (and that was a long, long time ago!). I've subscribed to their magazines for eons. I've purchased many a gift item from their catalogs and contributed to many of their fund raising efforts. I'm sure there are many, many other wildlife artists who contribute to their favorite conservation funds, too.

It seems only natural, right? And yet, I scratch my head and wonder why there is so little wildlife art offered by wildlife conservation organizations. Browse the online catalogs of organizations such was National Wildlife Federation or The Nature Conservancy and you will find all sorts of nature items, from books to bedspreads, but you will find surprisingly few wildlife art prints or posters and absolutely no original artwork.

I almost feel betrayed.

This lack of artwork is most puzzling to me since wildlife art and conservation seem a natural partnership. Wildlife artists have done so much for conservation efforts. Artists such as Robert Bateman have made huge contributions to conservation awareness and efforts. He was been honored with the Governor General's Award in Quebec City for his contribution to conservation in Canada, the Perkin’s Partner in Conservation Award presented by The Wild Canid Center, the U.S. National Audubon Society One of 20th Century’s 100 Champions of Conservation, and the Roland Michener Conservation Award presented by the Canadian Wildlife Federation, among others.

And yet, I have never once seen a print of his work offered in a conservation organization's catalog. Why?

Of course Robert Bateman is not the only wildlife artist who contributes to wildlife efforts. There's a whole group of wildlife artists dedicated to this effort, Artists for Conservation. As of this post member artists have pledged $13,943,109.79 to conservation funds. And yet, no conservation organization that I know of offers even a reciprocal link to this website.

Am I crazy, or is something wrong here?


Anonymous said...
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Eric Wilson said...

40% of tiger habitat has been lost in the last 10 years. THE LAST 10 YEARS!
What does this tell us? Conservation efforts, however valiant and noble, are doing nothing to halt the tigers inexorable path to extinction. Will we all get a refund when they announce in 10 years time the tiger has gone and they failed?

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