WILD believes in the power of art to inspire, inform, and engage. Moreover, art can also communicate conservation messages and promote positive attitudes and actions for wild nature. Here are a few examples of art in action for conservation:
WILD10 – 10th World Wilderness Congress
Boa Mistura, the urban art collective based in Madrid, collaborated with WILD10 planners and cultural figures for the months leading up to the 10th World Wilderness Congress. The result was a stunning, 27 meter high mural painted on one entire wall of a privately-owned building in the middle of Salamanca, immediately adjacent to El Corte Inglis, the main department store. Working for five days straight while WILD10 delegates convened in Salamanca’s Palacio de Congresos, the Boa Mistura team – comprised of architects, entrepreneurs, engineers and artists – produced a design that hearkened to the “Hand of Fatima”, into which they wove essential messages and inspiring images about the importance of protecting wild nature on land and in the seas. The mural also highlighted the theme song of WILD10 “Hacia lo Salvaje “(Into the WILD), a nationally famous contemporary song in Spain, donated for use in WILD10 by the Spanish pop group, Amaral.
Between November 2009 and January 2011, Nomkhubulwane, a 9 foot-tall elephant sculpture, migrated across North America as an ambassador of creative possibilities within the physical world. Made out of recycled tires, Nom-Koo inspired and mobilised community involvement in broader human and ecological issues. Created by Andries Botha and named by Dr. Ian Player, Nom-Koo started her journey at WILD9 (Nov 2009) through a partnership between WILD, The Human Elephant Foundation and the Lilleshall Trust of South Africa. Just a few of her stops including Detriot, El Paso, Juarez, Chicago and Montana.
WILD9 – 9th World Wilderness Congress
The jaguar, an endangered species, plays an important and iconic role in Mexico’s rich cultural and ecological history. They appear in stories, art, history, and, in ever decreasing numbers, in the wild. As part of the Congress, WILD teamed up with several local nonprofit organizations, artists and sponsors to coordinate the sculpting, painting and display of 15 jaguars throughout the city of Merida. One jaguar greeted travelers at the Merida airport, others were displayed throughout town and several were on exhibit at the convention center during the Congress. Following the Congress, the jaguars were auctioned to raise funds for local charities.
8th World Wilderness Congress
While planning the 8th World Wilderness Congress (Alaska, 2005), we initiated a project to select and install a gift of public sculpture to downtown Anchorage, host to the 8th WWC. We worked with a wide consortium of collaborators in the arts from throughout Alaska, including the Mayor of Anchorage, representatives from museums and galleries, and private collectors. A committee reviewed proposed sculptures from around the state, and ultimately selected Rachelle Dowdy’s piece.
It was installed on the Key Bank Plaza in central, downtown Anchorage, in June 2006. It has since become an Anchorage icon, a whimsical and evocative series of four sculptures – -half animal and half human — around which children play, and tourists have themselves photographed.