The OLYMPICS of Conservation, the International Union of Conservation of Nature has invited us to premiere The Rama Exhibition at it’s World Conservation Congress in Honolulu from September 1-10 at the Hawaii Convention Center. One hundred seventy nations, with over 8,000 – 10,000 delegates and 30,000 attendees will be the first to see the Exhibit which has been ten years in the making.
We have been so very, very busy preparing ourselves to attend with all twenty-one of the thirty-six planned paintings dressed and ready for the show that we haven’t had a chance to share the news here.
This is the biggest YES we could ever have hoped for, and it caught us unawares as we now scramble to frame each of the paintings which have been waiting in storage all this time to make their debut!
Fitting in light of Rama’s death last year, we feel so honored to represent this and every other endangered species in such a heartfelt and meaningful way. In order to create the most beautiful setting for our world premiere, we have all worked seven days a week since May 1. The very space we are to occupy is daunting.
As you can see, there are no walls! So, we are hanging the paintings ten feet off the floor on bamboo structures which are being built by a master crafstman on Oahu, Stephen Rosenthal.
Since the paintings are intended to travel the world, and must be shipped, they are designed in the tradition of Tibetan Thankgkas, and must be framed in soft materials that can be rolled and shipped. This means finding the materials for and sewing fabric frames to complement each painting.
Once the frames are sewn and measured, we staple and glue them to the 5′ x 7′ canvas with our trusty Weldbond glue. Once they’ve had a chance to dry overnight, they are solid and can be hung for display.
Since the elephant-part of the paintings are done in non-toxic tempera paints, each painting must be sealed to preserve the paints without moving or altering them. Calley holds her breath with every stroke of sealer, making sure to do so under the right conditions, such as no sunlight, not too humid, etc.
Besides the creative work of framing each painting, building shipping crates for the Animal Prayer Wheels, and planning the ambiance of the Exhibition, we have to fund it as well. We launched our Kickstarter, and with 17 days to go, we are 62% funded at the bare minimum of $7,500. Launching a Kickstarter, with an awesome video and all the details is no small feat, and we mailed it to over 1,500 trusted friends and supporters. So far, 57 of them have responded. The good news is that instead of the normal average donation of $25, ours is hovering at about $83! So those who ARE responding are doing so very generously, and we are oh-so-grateful.
One month from the date of this post, the World Conservation Congress will be all over! Seems impossible from where we sit today, but then we have the rest of the story to look forward to. The Rama Exhibition is on it’s way to travel the world!