Wilderness Conservation Painting Expedition
2014 Update: The Art of Beatriz Padilla Beatriz Padilla, the Mexican environmentalist painter, has embarked on a journey combining the art of painting with nature conservation in a new and innovative way. The Wilderness Conservation Painting Expedition (WCPE) is an applied conservation initiative, using the arts to support and communicate conservation issues of key wildlands across the globe and assist local people in communicating their relationship with these lands and receiving benefits from doing so.
During this multi-year, multi-expedition project, Ms. Padilla visits and paints wildland areas around the world. Some of these areas are “hotspots” and highly threatened, and some are already protected areas – all of them have a message to relate. While on location, Beatriz also engages with local communities. For example, on some expeditions, she leads art workshops with teenagers of native communities focusing on their natural and cultural heritage. These workshops culminate with an exhibit, showing the potential for these teens to generate a source of livelihood from portraying the intrinsic value of their natural environment. Most recently, Beatriz has stayed for long periods of time in the rainforest of Guatemala at Richard Hansen’s El Mirador project, and in the forests of West Africa, in Gabon, with the Lowland Gorillas.
A committed activist for wild nature, Beatriz has also created campaigns and helped initiate numerous organizations, including one specifically focused on saving the Water Forest above Mexico City. The WILD Foundation is International Advisor to the WCPE and Ms Padilla’s conservation artwork, and her US non-profit representative. She has been very involved in showing her work during, and supporting in many ways, both WILD9 and WILD10. For WILD10, among many things, she produced the amazing graphic comic book series “Nurdlor’s Enigma” as a way of engaging a new conservation constituency in the year leading up to WILD10.