In light of a political climate that has been overwhelmingly subversive to conservation goals, The Endangered Ark is a biennial exhibition I have curated with Nanci Amaka that calls attention to issues surrounding endangered species through art and community action. Distinguishing itself from other curations about endangered species, a key feature of The Endangered Ark involves a participatory component that has reach beyond the physical exhibit in the form of political activism. This feature may vary between exhibits depending on relevant issues and community needs around the time of each showing.
work by Kirsten Carlson, photo by Lala Openi
The Endangered Ark 2017 (the first exhibition), open from May 19th-June 2nd, took place at Ark of the Unicorns, "an alternative gallery and project space dedicated to supporting artists, writers, activists, and organizations exploring ideas around healing one's self, others, the community or the environment." The exhibit was created in response to indications that the Endangered Species Act was being considered for "modernization"-- a euphemism for a massive crippling of one of our most important pieces of conservation legislation. Given that Hawaii is a hotspot of endangered species, hosting 1/3 of those federally listed in the U.S., we felt it was imperative to take action, thus The Endangered Ark was born.
The participatory component of the 2017 exhibition was the use of postcards, which visitors to the gallery were encouraged to fill out with a statement on why they value endangered species protections. A total of 86 of these cards were filled out, and later mailed to our HI state legislators Brian Schatz, Mazie Hirono, Tulsi Gabbard, and Colleen Hanabusa.
work by Michelle Schwengel-Regala
work by Deanna Gabiga
work by Kayleigh Chalkowski
work by Ryan Schulz