On May 15th the GSC is partnering with C.A.R.E. to spotlight endangered species that live at the Science Center. C.A.R.E. (Coalition of Artists for the Recognition of Endangered species) was founded by a group of artists from Greensboro, North Carolina, to celebrate artistic excellence in the use of fine art as a vehicle for conservation awareness and support of endangered species. C.A.R.E members are very excited to partner with the Greensboro Science Center in the observation of Endangered Species Day. It is the perfect alliance since the animals at the Center motivated the start-up of the group.
“More specifically, I have to give credit to “Rano”, the Fossa,” said C.A.R.E. artist Karine Thoresen. “On one of my many visits to the Science Center, we connected – well, not really. As I was standing there watching him people came and went. Children would exclaim “It’s a panther!”, “It’s a cat!” Their unknowing guardians would walk up to the sign and read that it was neither. Some made reference to the movie “Madagascar”, and then moved on, leaving me alone with the endangered species “Rano” and his fact sheet.”
“Being an animal lover since birth, and someone who spends all day every day photographing and painting animals, I somberly realized that my knowledge was no better than the general public. This animal is endangered – near extinction! Extinct means forever! My mind was racing. How many other people do not know about “Rano” or the Fossa in general? And yet, here he is, an ambassador for his species, in my hometown, ten minutes from where I live. It was then I decided that all of the animals at the Greensboro Science Center should be painted. They deserve another voice, even if from a very small group in the community, the artists. Realizing I could not do this alone, I contacted Addren Doss and Andi Hennings, two of the finest animal artists I know, and so C.A.R.E. was formed.”
“We artists are a species of our own within the world’s inhabitants. We feel deeply, and communicate deeply. Our minds and eyes are always racing, seeking the light, seeking truth, reflecting inwardly, most of our time spent in solitude. Like the natural seasons are interdependent and necessary, we create in cycles, always renewing our source of inspiration and drive, and creating with urgency once we have experienced something we respond to. We cannot give what we don’t have. Our art can only take us as far as what we have experienced ourselves. We have to see to believe. We are passionate.”
Endangered Species Day was created to recognize conservation efforts underway across the nation. It reminds us and teaches us what we can do locally in response to a global problem, demonstrating every day actions people can take to protect our wildlife and open spaces. Our fish, wildlife and plant resources belong to all of us and ensuring the health of imperiled species is a shared responsibility. Yes, it is overwhelming, and it is far from pleasant to think about human caused extinctions and degeneration of the natural ecosystem that supports both people and wildlife. It is easier to think of beautiful things, like art.
When you look at art, you simply have to respond with some emotion. My thought is if we succeed in capturing the beauty and soul of the animal through art, the viewer will respond to that animal with the same love and understanding the artist felt while creating it. We have to care for, love and understand the animal before we can be passionate about conserving it. Art and conservation goes hand in hand, and we are passionate about both!
Blog post brought to you by ~ Karine Thoresen~