Continuing to volunteer at primate sanctuaries and lend my artistic skills to enhance their appearance is an essential part of my wildlife conservation commitment.
My painting path was born at an African primate sanctuary in the jungle. It started with making signs. Hundreds of visitors tour the sanctuary each month, from nearby and from all over the world. They learn about the pressures the primates face, bushmeat hunting, the disappearing rainforests, and how critical it is to save those forests, for the people who depend on them and for all living things who call them home, particularly the endangered apes and monkeys.
My commercial design background – and the fact that I too am an outsider – enable me to assess the sanctuary appearance from a visitor’s viewpoint. The more appealing, eye-catching, orderly and professional we make the sanctuaries look, the better the impression. And that carries over, I believe, into perception of the level of care given to the animals. It also can contribute to a sense of pride among staff, volunteers and supporters.
It’s always fun to return to a sanctuary, painting supplies in hand, and have the leaders eagerly armed with their lists of ideas and projects they hope I’ll undertake.
Here’s a sampling of sanctuary beautification things I’ve done over the last several years.