by JENNA HUFFMAN
Populations of animals have drastically declined over the past 40 years and Tiffin University’s Diane Kidd Gallery is working to bring awareness to this issue by highlighting the work of several different artists.
Dr. Lucy Spelman, who is board certified in zoological medicine and has worked extensively with National Geographic and “Animal Planet”, spoke about the importance of art and science working together.
“Artists deepen our understanding of this interdependency, and help us explore how we feel about animals,” Spelman said, “Science provides the road map for conservation; art motivates us to follow it.”
The exhibit features works of many different materials and dimensions including photographs, clay, virtual reality, and even food. Laptops and Slim Jims are used to add interest.
Senior Alex Tozzie says the exhibit was very creative and the way the artists used different materials to catch the viewers attention was fun.
Highlighted at the exhibit are animals like the great siberian tiger, the grey african parrot, and african elephants. Each of these animals are endangered or abused because of their value to humans.
“When you are little and you see an animal your whole day is pretty much set and you are all smiles,” junior Elizabeth Evans said, “but then you become an adult and realize you can’t do anything.”
This feeling of helplessness is something the exhibit is trying to bring attention to. The goal of the exhibit is to raise awareness about conservation efforts and provide an opportunity for them to contribute. Some experts estimate that over $76 million is spent annually on to preserve endangered species and their loss of habitat.
Each item in the exhibit features a detailed description of the animal and a hypothetical situation of why the animal is endangered.
“One Hundred and Four” is a highlighted piece of art in the gallery. This piece represents the number of African elephants killed every day in Africa. Elephants are still being poached for the tusks, even though the act is illegal.
“The exhibit really pulls at your emotions,” Tozzie said.
Evans hopes the exhibit inspires action in the minds of TU students. “All in all, what efforts that can be made could work wonders, and we can save these animals. They have lives just as we do. They deserve to live those lives—not lose them,” she said.
This exhibit will be on display until April 25 and the gallery is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.