Conservation work can take many forms and Wildsight Golden is hoping that art will be a form that reaches lots of people who are curious about the natural world around them. For that reason, we commissioned 14 artists to volunteer their talents to create works that will inspire us to also look closely and take an interest in matters that affect the natural world around us.
“Vanishing Bighorns” is an art show that has brought together 14 professional and amateur artists to create portraits of each of the 14 members of the small herd of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep which have lived in the Kicking Horse Canyon since the 1980’s. Each artist was provided with 8-10 photographs and some video footage of “their” bighorn sheep plus relevant dates and personality aspects and asked to create a portrait of the animal. They could use any medium and any size for their work. Artists received a small honorarium provided by the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance, the Columbia Basin Trust and the Columbia Shushwap Regional District- Area A.
These artists are all committed to conservation and their contribution to this project is remarkable. Each of them deserves our gratitude for sharing their talents to celebrate a wild animal and we are hopeful that change will result from the public awareness and concern that their work inspires.
This art show was the brainchild of Meg Langley, local wildlife biologist and teacher, who has been working with the Golden sheep herd since 2016. Her concern with their decline and the need to keep them off of the highway inspired this show.
Golden’s Rocky Mountain Bighorns Sheep herd numbered 20 in 2016 and 14 in 2019. It still has 14 members, despite the birth of 4 to 5 lambs each Spring. While these remarkable animals have learned to coexist with the TransCanada Highway and all it offers, including food, minerals, water and travel routes, the sheep have not learned how to live when hit by a car or truck or train.
In a call to learn about the plight of these and other bighorn sheep which coexist with highways while drawing attention to the amazing talent found in this area, we invite you to Stop in and See the Sheep! The show will run from January 14 to February 18, 2022 and the gallery is open every day except Sunday between 10:30 am and 5 pm.
More information about the bighorn sheep and the Wildsight Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Project can be found here.
More information about the event can be found here.
And at the Art Gallery of Golden here.