The story behind the series…
Beauty of the Beast Tigers facing Extinction…
In late 2005, Francesca Owens created a series of 9 mixed medium - charcoal, graphite and print relief works of art that portrayed the key elements tigers are facing becoming extinct in the wild.
International attention ignited after Brian Gratwicke, assistant director for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation - Save the Tiger Fund (STT) publicized these images on their website.
Using brilliant colors -- characteristic of her signature style combined now with sobering graphic black and white images with hints of orange red charcoals, a poignant expression suggestive of this animal's fate, Owens creates a dynamic tension between art and reality. The “Beauty of The Beast - Tigers Facing Extinction” traveling art exhibition will begin its tour visiting universities across the United States in 2007.
This co-sponsored exhibition by Owens and STT is drawing the international from environmental players. The likes of, Ananda Banerjee a journalist from India Today, India’s largest news magazine and Jeff Whiting President and Founder of the Canada’s Worldwide Nature Artist Group have both expressed in supporting and promoting Owens’ efforts.
According to the Owens, the seeds to cultivate this traveling exhibition began sprouting after a spring 2005 visit to Stephanie Johnson, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES) Proposal Coordinator. Johnson was “taken aback by the vibrancy colors that jumped off” Owens’ works. Her work attracted the attention of Donald D. Humphreys, an executive with the ExxonMobil Foundation, a sponsoring organization of the STT and a private collector of Owens’ original work, “Tiger Gaze” after a Canyon Road, Santa Fe NM show.
Brain storming discussions continued between Owens and Gratwicke stoking the fires of creative minds. August 2006, Jo Halstead development director for the Exhibition Alliance suggested to Owens how much stronger her series would be if she combined the beauty and the brutal into one larger exhibition. Owens remembering Johnson’s words of encouragement with additional creative input from new key players began to cultivate and the birth of this expanded series.
Environmental issues facing today’s tigers in the wild coupled with the striking features this majestic endangered species holds because of it beauty continued to be hot global topics.
Today, the impact of the loss of habitat and the demand for traditional Chinese medicine cures (using tiger bones as an arthritis remedy) has reached its critical threshold.
The larger exhibition will include the nine original pieces from the “Did I Die In Vain?” series, three new works tilted “Are We Really Gone?” and 10 beautiful watercolor tiger paintings.
A mini documentary movie directed by Owens features local Colorado school children exchanging questions and answers with John Goodrich, (WCS biologist heading up the Siberian Tiger Project) live from the Russia. Ananda Banerjee had donated live action “clips” ranging from one wild tigress attacking a man on an elephant when she sees hers cubs have been relocated to a better place to another angry tiger’s way of an alligator trying to steal his prey.
Owens seeks out her ultimate sponsor(s) who will wrap up the final expenses of this exhibition. Five thousand dollars more is needed for shipping crates to graphic story boards. COLA, Colorado Lawyers for the Arts has teamed up with International Law Firm, Faegre & Benson accepting Francesca's Traveling Exhibition for pro- bono work, as well as Anderson
and Associates for public relations work. Final details will be striped up soon moving this exhibition from aspiration to reality. If you have any interest in partnering with this project, Owens can be reached directly at (720) 810-3297 or firstname.lastname@example.org