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Mural brings the rustypatched bumblebee back to Ohio

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Mural brings the rustypatched bumblebee back to Ohio

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JD:  Speaking broadly, how do you see the role of visual arts in communicating the incredible biodiversity of species – along with the urgent need for species conservation?

KL: Visual arts play a pivotal role in communicating the incredible biodiversity of species and the urgent need for species conservation by tapping into the universal language of imagery and emotion. Through the skillful use of color, form, and symbolism, we as artists and creatives have the power to evoke visceral responses and provoke thought on complex environmental issues.

Firstly, visual art has the ability to capture the beauty and intricacy of the natural world in ways that words alone cannot. It serves as a powerful tool for raising awareness about the threats facing endangered species and habitats.

Moreover, public art installations have the potential to mobilize action and drive positive change. By portraying the consequences of inaction alongside visions of a sustainable future, artists can inspire viewers to become advocates for conservation efforts in their own communities and beyond. It serves as a catalyst for education, empathy, and action, amplifying the voices of scientists, conservationists, and activists striving to protect our planet’s precious natural heritage.

JD: What was your experience like working on the rusty patched bumblebee mural specifically? What did you learn about this bumblebee species by making it the subject of your creative work?

KL: Working on the rusty patched bumblebee mural was a profoundly enriching experience for me on both a creative and educational level. As I delved into researching and depicting this endangered species, I gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for its importance in our ecosystem.

Firstly, the process of creating the mural allowed me to immerse myself in the world of the rusty patched bumblebee, learning about its habitat, behavior, and role as a pollinator. Through this exploration, I discovered the intricate beauty of the species, from its distinctive coloration to its fascinating lifecycle.

Furthermore, I learned about the significant threats facing the rusty patched bumblebee, including habitat loss, pesticide exposure, and disease. This knowledge deepened my commitment to raising awareness about the plight of endangered species and the urgent need for conservation efforts.

JD: What are your hopes and visions for how the Columbus, Ohio communities, and specifically the Linden neighborhood, will interact with or learn from your mural?

KL: My vision for the Linden neighborhood, as an underserved community, is focused on empowerment, resilience, and social equity.

I hope the mural serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for residents of Linden, offering a visual representation of their community’s strength and resilience. By insisting on Linden youth participate in the creation process and showcasing the beauty of biodiversity and the importance of conservation, I aimed to instill a sense of pride and ownership among residents, reminding them that their voices matter and their neighborhood belongs to them.

Furthermore, I hope the mural sparks conversations about the environmental challenges facing underserved communities like Linden and encourages residents to advocate for equitable access to green spaces, clean air, and healthy food options. By raising awareness about these issues, I believe the mural has the potential to mobilize residents to demand positive change and work together to create a more sustainable and equitable future for their neighborhood. Ultimately, my vision for the mural in Linden is one of empowerment, education, and community building.

JD: Is there anything else you’d like to share about your creative practice, the ESA at 50 National

KL: My involvement in the ESA at 50 National Mural Project reaffirmed my belief in the power of art as a tool for social and environmental advocacy. Murals have the ability to reach diverse audiences and spark meaningful conversations, making them a powerful medium for raising awareness and inspiring action on critical issues.

As we reflect on the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, I am reminded of the urgent need to redouble our efforts to protect and conserve the incredible diversity of life on Earth. Through collaborative initiatives like the ESA at 50 National Mural Project, we can harness the transformative power of art to ignite positive change and build a more sustainable and equitable world for all species, including our own.

ESA at 50 National Mural Project

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, Endangered Species Coalition Member Organizations and community partners collaborated to create a series of murals throughout the US. The murals spotlight regional ecological and cultural diversity within the US and internationally, highlighting plants and animals protected by the Endangered Species Act. Species currently listed and in danger of extinction are featured, along with species recovered thanks to this landmark legislation.

Many of our ESA at 50 National Mural Project sites were created with leadership by ESC Pollinator Protectors planting partners. These projects increase the visibility of local native plants and pollinators , and engage local artists and communities to recognize the 2023 50th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. Many thanks to Sunny Glen Garden/Dianne Kadonaga and Center for Biological Diversity/Roger Peet for supporting the planning and implementation of the Linden mural, and huge thanks to ESC Member Organizations, for contributing project funding.

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