ARTISTS & BIOLOGISTS UNITE for NATURE
WHO OR WHAT IS ABUN?
ABUN is a collection of nature and wildlife artists, serving the conservation community with original images for their use in promoting awareness.
HOW DID ABUN COME TO BE?
The group, Artists & Biologists Unite for Nature is a transition of the 52 WEEKS – Nature Painting Challenge group. After two full years of the 52 WEEKS – NPC, founders Kitty Harvill and her husband Christoph Hrdina, transitioned this group into ABUN – Artists & Biologists Unite for Nature, in order to focus more intensely on projects involving the conservation of endangered species and their respective habitats.
The collaborating biologist/organization has the right to use any and all images of the submitted paintings as educational and marketing material that are submitted to ABUN.
In the first year of 2016, ABUN completed nine Projects :
– The endangered Hyacinth macaw for Projeto Arara Azul of Brazil.
– Four species of Brazilian Sloths for Projeto Tamandua.
– The Blue-throated macaw of Bolivia for The Bird Endowment who used the Banner created of the works at the American Federation of Aviculture at their annual meeting in August. In addition to the Banner, several members donated their original artwork for a raffle that raised funds for The Bird Endowment and their work with the Blue-throateds in Bolivia. This Project was revisited in 2019 with the request for images once more for the raffle in order to help raise funds.
– An exciting Project for the critically endangered Sira Curassow of Peru was also completed with the first artworks ever of this species. Members worked from the only two existing photographs and one video for reference.
– ABUN completed a Project for the Living in Harmony Exhibition in South Africa focusing on maintaining harmony between wildlife and human communities for The Primate and Predator Project. In addition to having a printed Banner with all artworks, many of
the individual paintings were printed for display in this effort.
– Final Projects for 2016 included:
– The Slow Loris of Sumatra and the campaign “I Am Not Your Toy!” to raise awareness of the torturous trafficking of this species of primate.
– A new species of Poison Dart Frog recently discovered in Peru, which also involved the illustration of two children’s picture books by our ABUN artists in support of this Peruvian Project.
– Endangered Bats of Romania.
– A celebration of five parrots of Brazil in collaboration with the Brazilian “Year of the Parrot”.
In 2017 ABUN continued with Projects including:
– The heavily trafficked and endangered species of Pangolin and the critically endangered primate of Vietnam – the Delacour’s langur. Although completed in 2017, the group received a request for images to be used in a booklet created for World Pangolin Day 2019 at the Nandankanan Zoological Park in India. Our collage for the Delacour’s langur in collaboration with FFI/Fauna & Flora International was used in the coffee table book celebrating their history, With Honourable Intent – A Natural History of Fauna & Flora International.
– Following Projects included the Whiptail lizard and Racer snake of St. Lucia’s Maria islands.
-13 species of endangered birds for SAO – Sociedad Antioqueña de Ornitología which were used on a 2018 Calendar and on t-shirts.
– A Project for the different species of Giraffe in Africa for the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
– The Harpy Eagle, a Project of Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia – INPA, and an exhibition of our artwork was mounted in support of the Harpy Eagle Project in October 2018.
– Many of our members participated in the Baby Rhino Rescue International Art Contest held in Sept/Oct of 2017 and we followed that with a full Project for this organization later in November
that continued until Jan 31, 2018.
Our first full 2018 Project was in partnership with FFI/Fauna & Flora International for the Guinea Forest Elephant.
– A request from the Los Angeles Zoo to partner with them in creating signage for their new Bird Gardens followed, making part of their Earth Day celebration.
– We followed with a Project for the rare Black-headed Bushmaster, working with Dr. Andy Whitworth, to support his efforts to conduct research on this disappearing species.
– Our next Project was for the critically endangered Blue-eyed Ground Dove, with less than 20 individuals existing in the world, this is a conservation Project of SAVE Brasil, the international affiliate of BirdLife International.
– Next up was an exciting Project for Snow Leopards and Pallas’s Cats of Mongolia with many of the paintings later used in a book produced in 2019.
– Projects for the “Extinct in the Wild” Spix’s Macaw, working once again with SAVE Brasil and concurrently with Projeto Onças do Iguaçu for Brazilian Jaguars in order to provide artwork for an exhibition in celebration of a new holiday in Brazil – Dia Nacional das Onças/National Day of the Jaguars, November 29, 2018 were 2 of our last Projects of the year.
We did launch ABUN #24 – Big CATS of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) and ABUN #25 – BEARS & More of TCWR, these two Projects carried us into 2019. Many of the works created for these two Projects were donated to TCWR for their annual fundraiser “Cats at the Castle”, raising substantial funds.
In late February of 2019 we completed our two Projects that were begun in late 2018 for Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR).
– We followed those Projects with a collaboration with the City of Curitiba, the capital of the state of Paraná, Brazil with a project of Stingless Bees of the Atlantic Forest, featuring five species, in conjunction with their “Jardins de Mel/Gardens of Honey” municipal Project for more than 15 Bee Gardens in the city parks. A major exhibition of the work was held April 12, 2019 at Quintana Gastronomia, Curitiba, Brazil. The Art and Banners, one for each of the 5 species, have travelled to make part of other exhibitions to raise awareness of the vital importance of these species.
– A Project for the Granite Dells of Prescott, Arizona, USA was our next endevor and the first that has focused on a threatened ecosystem rather than a particular species or group of species. With more than 300 photographs to use as reference, the group produced more than 200 Artworks. Prints and originals will be used to raise funds for the Granite Dells in a future exhibition and fundraising event.
– Our next Project, ABUN #28, focused on the Greater Adjutant Storks of Assam India, partnering with the organization – Aaranyak.
– Next up, the critically endangered Black-faced Lion Tamarin of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest in partnership with SPVS – Sociedade de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem e Educação Ambiental.
2020 was kicked off with Project #30 – World Albatross Day, partnering with ACAP – Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, together with Projeto Albatroz in Brazil. A large Project, with more than 300 reference photos to include all 22 species, we had more than 300 artwork submissions, by 77 Artists. Our work has been used extensively by ACAP in promoting World Albatross Day by creating posters and website posts with our Art.
– ABUN #31 featured 3 critically endangered Bird species of the Philippines – the Philippine Eagle, Red-vented Cockatoo & Walden’s Hornbill.
– We initiated a 25-Day Painting Challenge with ABUN #32 in support of World Otter Day, concentrating our efforts on the Eurasian Otter to raise awareness where this species occurs in Russia through a collaboration with the IUCN SSC Otter Specialist Group, and participated with our Artwork in a campaign to increase harmony between the Giant River Otters in the Pantanal of Brazil and the human communities they share, culminating in a Coloring Book for the Giant River Otter. Our Otter Artwork has been used in the creation of 2021 Calendars and other uses of the Otter Artwork is being planned.
– ABUN #33 launched in July with the aim of both celebrating and raising awareness of the dire threats to our ‘Lungs of the ‘World’ – the Amazon. Artwork, Posters and a Video were shared on social media on September 5 – the Dia da Amazônia/Day of the Amazon.
– Next, ABUN took up the call of Blood Lions in a campaign to end the heinous export of Lion bones, the slaughter of 800 Lions a year. Blood Lions’ campaign has been presented to Minister Barbara Creecy of South Africa.
– ABUN ends the year with a Project for the Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda working with Joint Efforts for Green Mountain Initiative (JEGMI) and Biocultural Conservation Institute (BCI).
– Plans are underway for 2021, already revisiting ACAP and World Albatross Day, we will be creating Artwork for the 9 species of Petrels & Shearwaters.
Projects are underway in 2021:
– In May we began a collaboration with the East London Museum of South Africa to create murals to be used in a Diorama for their Cape Parrot Exhibition. The exhibition runs for two years and gives our ABUN community an opportunity for their landscape painting skills to shine as they creatively depict the habitat of the Cape Parrot of South Africa.
– A Project for the Southern Muriqui of Brazil, the largest primate of the Americas, is planned later in the year.