Dawn is a study of an African bongo antelope.
Bongo are incredibly docile and reclusive. Being a nocturnal animal, I imagined them settling into heavy cover to hide the early morning after a night of activity. Dawn is in a state of "watchful repose"- resting, ruminating, yet remaining vigilant for threats.
I originally picked the bongo as a subject simply based on the beauty of the creature. As I researched them, I became aware of their critically endangered status. Some estimates have their wild population at only 200 individual animals! I became alarmed and saddened at the idea this magnificent creature could become extinct in the wild in my life time.
The idea of this shy and gentle creature hiding and having to remain alert for danger became a larger allegory for their status. What is Dawn's short term future? Will this dawn bring the promise of protection, or the threat of extinction?
My research on bongo and discovery of their status moved me to attempt to do something. I researched several conservation groups, and finally tripped over one that I was very excited to work with. The International Hoofstock Awareness Association (IHAA) is dedicated to the conservation of rare and endangered hoofed and horned animals world wide. Bongo are near and dear to them, as well as Mongolian Saiga, African Wild Ass, Saola, and more. Based here in Colorado, I have found them very welcoming of art as a way to both attract attention to conservation and raise funds. Therefore, 10% of all of my profits on the sale of "Dawn" will be donated to IHAA.
If you wish to know more about this fine group, or perhaps donate without purchasing Dawn; they can be reached at www.InternationalHoofstock.org. They are an officially registered nonprofit, and your contributions will be used effectively and wisely. I have gotten to know many of these people personally. They are passionate, dedicated, and honorable.
Dawn is a limited edition of 15.
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