The last two/three years have certainly had their ups and downs and challenges. But turning to the second half of 2023 here are the plans going forward – with renewed enthusiasm.
100+ Artworks for a koala – we have sold a few and held a couple of minor exhibitions. Not easy selling original art for a fair price as I guess most of the participating artists realise. Currently the artworks are stored in an air-conditioned windowless lock-up in Port Macquarie.
Please use your own socials / websites / contacts to help us sell your original – simply use the link to your portfolio on Living with Koalas website. No artworks will be sold without your permission at an agreed price. Copyright of course remains with the artist.
TOURING EXHIBITIONS – HI-RES LIMITED EDITION CANVASES
Trying to get venues to hold a major event where we could exhibit all the originals didn’t work out quite as planned …(so far) … we had secured four venues (three in NSW and one in Victoria – but both cancelled last minute, COVID related). The original event in Los Angles was the first Covid cancellation casualty.
So we have been taking hi-res photographs /scans and producing hi-res canvases which we shadow frame. We have three standard sizes 600mm x 450mm horizontal and 450mm x 600mm vertical plus a square format 450mm x 450mm – we frame to match the artwork proportion. These frames look fantastic and are easy for us to transport. It also means venues will able to take as many as their exhibiting space allows. usually around 25- 30. When we have all 100+ framed we will hold a major exhibition/ auction… more of that in the coming months.
So far we have exhibited at an artwalk festival in Port Macquarie, a cafe venue and now have three venues arranged to start showing in June / July. We are now sending invitations to a number of other large venues. If you know of a venue that would like to hold an art-for-conservation exhibition please let us know and we will contact them. At the events we will also take an original (maybe several) for auction.
We are so pleased to announce that we have partnered with Landcare Australia. We will be approaching some of their 6,000 strong Landcare Groups to hold ‘community hall art exhibitions’ focussing on Landcare groups who already look after land with a koala population (or areas where they could be reintroduced). If you are a member of a Landcare Group and you think an exhibition will be of interest please get in touch. The Landcare Groups will also use the exhibition to explain the work they are doing and to recruit new members.
We are now actively looking for grant opportunities. As we are partnering with Landcare Australia we can use their charitable status for anyone wishing to simply donate funds; we can direct any profits generated by Living with Koalas as a tax deductible item into their great hands for them to distribute to their network of hands on practical land regeneration and conservation.
BOOKS and MUSICAL
Our first book THE GOOD THING ABOUT … KOALAS continues to sell and be used in schools. It will also be used as the programme for the kids musical KOALA RESKUE …. featuring the ENDANGERED RANGERS. We now looking for a theatre company to take it to the next stage (a read though, and video a scene or two) and then finally onto rehearsals and then onto the stage. A draft is written, complete with the song lyrics. Fingers crossed we find a suitable theatre company willing to develop and take on tour. We are looking at some funding models and suitable grants.
New koala book – many of the artworks from 100 + Artworks for a koala will also feature in a follow up book TGTA… KOALAS (2) . This time a rhyming children’s book. The next thing is to try and find a publisher. However if we self-publish (like we did with the first book) we will create a campaign to raise money for the book artwork and printing . We may try online social funding. The first book was mainly funded by pledges with the donors getting their name in the book and a free signed copy sent in return for $50 or $100 donations (for a business listing). We could also try that again. We will re-start our social media (instagram) updates and feature some the rhymes and suggested artworks to be featured.
ARTWORKS IN AGED CARE
We have also trialled loaning the hi-res canvases from the growing 100+ Artworks for a Koala collection in aged care facilities. The residents generally don’t have the opportunity to visit galleries. So the artwork goes to them for a few weeks. The nurses and careers have told us the residents find the exhibition stimulating, especially for Alzheimer patients. And a great conversation starter. Art certainly starts a conversation about conservation. Going forward the idea is to run a fund-raising exhibition at an associated retirement living facility.
More regular updates going forward. In the meantime best wishes.
G Henshaw, Director