The Call of the Wild


After years of exhibiting artwork in galleries and museums, Chicago-based artists Jenny Kendler and Molly Schafer decided last year to step outside those white-walled environments and directly support conservation of endangered species.

In their Endangered Species Print Project, the artists print animal images in quantities equaling the estimated number of individuals of that species in the wild. For instance, no more than 45 Amur leopards are said to remain in Russia and China’s temperate forests, their sole habitat, and so Kendler and Schafer have made an edition of 45 prints. Everything earned from the sale of the prints is donated to an organization that works to save that specific species, in this case the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance, a coalition of 13 nongovernmental organizations dedicated to reducing the poaching and deforestation that threaten the species. If less money goes to supporters of the more endangered species, they’ll create a second artwork of the same species once the first one sells out. So far they have raised more than $4,000 and donated to 11 organizations. Now they are expanding by lining up guest artists who will draw a variety of animals and plants, including the charismatic Vaquita, a miniature porpoise that lives in the Sea of Cortez in California.

Permission required for reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.

Vanessa Schipani is a former editorial assistant at The American Scholar.


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