I’ve found a new calling, I think—I have never before had such a feeling that my art could actually help something. Please a viewer, yes; make someone feel happy, even inspire a person—always felt that; but to actually help make a life better with my art…!
I’m finding that’s exactly what I’m doing by auctioning my work along with other incredible artists’ offerings, all to benefit the cause of Wildlife Direct. My art is helping to aid the rangers of the Congo in their goal to protect the rare Mountain Gorillas. This means salaries so the rangers can support their families; clean water so they can be healthy and comfortable while they work; fresh supplies such as clothing and tools that they need greatly to do their jobs; many other things.
The Mountain Gorillas are amazing and powerful creatures, with a spirit-filled gaze that goes right to the heart of a person. Yet, it’s possible that my grandchildren will only hear about them through my stories, if matters don’t change. The rangers are working as well as they can to protect this species and help it to flourish; but they’re struggling against an abominable political situation. Humankind and animal life alike are suffering right now in the Congo.
One of the best ways to inspire change is to raise awareness of an issue. Art is a powerful tool of communication—it can speak across miles and language barriers, bringing attention to the unnoticed, shining a light into darkness. For the first time in my life, I feel my art is important. And not to discount decades’ worth if work; but now, I finally feel that my art is worthwhile. I received a calling long ago, and found my work in life. Now I suddenly feel as if my art has received its calling: to make the world a better place.
This is one matter. One cause. One issue. There are many suffering people in the world.
But there are also many who are able to help.
Out of all those issues, let’s each take one. There’s no telling what we can accomplish.
As for my art—I feel like it’s saying: Who can I paint for next???