On Tuesday, May 28, No. 8, the restaurant lounge in downtown Manhattan, was transformed into an art gallery, with works on easels scattered throughout its two floors. The occasion was an art sale to benefit Wildlife Conservation Film Festivals (WCFF) presented by Cultural Connections. The curatorial duo behind Cultural Connections, Kathy Murphy and Deborah Bernard, envisioned this show as a way to bring together artists who love wildlife and the environment in support of WCFF. To show its own support for WCFF, No. 8 donated the space for the event.
Each of the featured artists brought his or her own unique style. Danny Simmons’s abstract expressionist paintings were vivid and sweeping, while Tatyana Murray’s back-lit etchings of animals and trees were haunting. Michelle Sakhai’s large landscape exuded calm and what she calls her appreciation for the beauty of nature. Sylvia Roth’s print of an owl was realistic and alive and Theresa Hackett’s canvases offered more colorful and abstract images. The theme of the artwork meshed perfectly with the mission of WCFF, making it a seamless collaboration.
Wildlife Conservation Film Festivals, founded by Christopher J. Gervais, endorses the protection of biodiversity and sustainability, through the screening of films about wildlife, conservation and natural history. Dr. Scarlett Magda, Executive Director of WCFF, pointed out that films and other arts helps to promote awareness about protection of wildlife and habitats, especially “in this critical moment in our history.” Film festivals are held in New York, Miami, Washington D.C. and the Hamptons, bringing together the top minds in the fields of science and film as well as those committed to conservation. Workshops and seminars also provide opportunities for participants to gain further information and education about wildlife and environmental issues. WCFF appeals to people from all over the world, from representatives of National Geographics and PBS, to filmmakers and wildlife scientists. The next film festival in New York City will be held from October 1 – 5. For more information, please click here.
Tuesday’s event attracted notables from the worlds of art, film and science. Matt Bracken, a filmmaker who focuses on anti-poaching efforts in Africa, had flown in from South Africa to support WCFF . Jessica Pociask, managing director of WANT Expeditions, noted how the travel company “is trying to get people out of the zoo and see what it really takes to protect animals.” Zoltan Takacs, a snake expert and scientist, is conducting research in the use of venom as possible drugs. His work is yet another indication of what the benefits of wildlife conservation and protection may hold for man kind.