Friday, July 16, 2010

Olivia's Birds - Save the Wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico

Happy Friday! We're finishing off another week of guest posts on Chessa! with something truly inspiring. Visit Nadine Bouler's Blog to
learn more about her daughter Olivia's efforts to save the Gulf's wildlife.

Olivia Bouler

Olivia Bouler: 11 years old and willing to help is how she described herself to the Audubon Society when she contacted them about the tragedy in the Gulf. Aspiring ornithologist, artist, and saxophone player, my daughter Olivia wept when she heard about the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, a place where she spent many vacations with her cousins and grandparents who live in Louisiana and Alabama. Knowing birds were going to suffer during migration and nesting season, she knew she had to take action. Inspired by her hero James Audubon, Olivia wrote to the Audubon Society about her fundraising idea; she wanted to give bird drawings to those who donated to wildlife recovery efforts, setting a goal of 500 originals.

olivia portrait

What started as a way for Olivia to feel she had some power in this catastrophic situation, creating drawings to raise money, actually exploded into an example of the healing power of the painted image. The response has been incredible, raising over $160,000 for a variety of organizations helping wildlife in the Gulf region through her AOL Artist Page and having over 25,000 people sign up for her Facebook fan page: Save the Gulf: Olivia’s Bird Illustrations.

Why the response? Olivia’s drawings, beautifully rendered watercolors based on scientific field guides and first-hand observations, are more than a child-like gesture of innocence. Her images tap into art’s long history of reminding us of what’s important in life— the sublime in a profane world.

Nadine Bouler

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