"An African Menagerie" by Brian Jarvi
AFRICAN MENAGERIE Exhibition Prospectus

"An African Menagerie" by Brian Jarvi AFRICAN MENAGERIE Exhibition Prospectus

A Panoramic Adventure
Introduction by Todd Wilkinson
Author, Last Stand: Ted Turner`s Quest To Save A Troubled Planet

Imagine a line of seven vertical panels, visually interlocking, that serve as an epic picture window opening into an Edenic panorama of Africa.

The centerpiece is ten-feet high and five-feet wide. It stands three-feet off the ground reaching a height of more than one story tall. It is flanked by six other panels that form a wide-angle vision into the arc of the savannah. It engages us. It invites us in. It makes us think. It appeals to seasoned travelers and it commands awe from children . . .

Filling the scenes are dramatic portrayals of predators and prey as only Brian Jarvi can paint them. It is a grand idyllic montage. As one point of visual entry, we, as primates, relate to the point of view of a bonobo, a pygmy chimpanzee, seated on an elephant. He is looking down on a human in the scene, which symbolically represents humanity. In this grandeur we are confronted with the possibility that all of it could disappear.

What Brian Jarvi endeavors to create is something momentously novel—a grand panoramic that invites viewers to become a participant in the experience. Jarvi`s ambitious concept is without rival among his living contemporaries in wildlife art.

Regarded as one of the finest dramatic painters in the wildlife genre, Jarvi is also a conservationist who seeks to address ecological challenges through his art. An African Menagerie: The Inquisition addresses an extinction crisis that presently confronts six major species.

Unlike extinctions going back to the age of dinosaurs, the current episode is the only one that has occurred during the tenure of Homo sapiens—Man. The spiraling loss of biological diversity, prominent ecologists say, stands to erase many of the Earth`s iconic megafauna and other smaller animals that imbue our quality of life with wild richness.

The compelling question that Jarvi posses through his art is this: Are we as a society going to let extinction happen on our watch? Or will we take action? He does not see it framed as a partisan issue. For him, it is a moral and ethical question that strikes at the very heart of our ability as a species to empathize with the plight of other life forms.

Earth`s ecological crisis is most starkly visible, he says, in sub-Saharan Africa, a setting that, to date, has been featured in many of Jarvi`s most acclaimed paintings.

From jungles around the equator where mountain gorillas and chimpanzees barely endure in scattered pockets, southward to the Serengeti Plain, Kalahari Desert, Okavango Delta, and the velds of South Africa and Zimbabwe, the animals whose very iconic presence pronounces wildness to billions are dwindling at alarming rates.

Consider the roster: black and white rhinoceros, elephant, zebra, lion, leopard, cheetah, Cape buffalo, and giraffe. Some are being lost to rampant poaching, others to the effects of war and human poverty, habitat destruction and the onset of climate change. Most, however, are confronting a combination of all of the above.

For many North Americans, awareness of what`s occurring is minimized by the geographic distance between here and there. Jarvi wants to close the gap using art as a bridge.

" What`s happening in Africa is disturbing but it is reflective of problems affecting wildlife around the world," the artist says. "I want to be more than a witness. I want to heighten public awareness so that these awe inspiring wonders of creation still have a fighting chance—that they will still be here for my kids, grandchildren and great grandchildren to enjoy. I don`t want to preach. It is my hope that art serve as a catalyst for waking people up."

So ambitious is the blueprint for An African Menagerie: The Inquisition that it has taken Jarvi years to complete. Now, with completion in sight, venues are being recruited to participate in the tour of the traveling exhibition the purpose of which is to elevate public appreciation andinterest in the plight of myriad African species through the beauty of art.

Jarvi`s seven vertical panels, will be supplemented by some one-hundred related research sketches and mixed media studies. The exhibition is bolstered by publication of an accompanying coffee-table-sized book available for resale in museum bookstores and giftshops.

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"An African Menagerie" by Brian Jarvi AFRICAN MENAGERIE Exhibition Prospectus
Paintings pictured in this prospectus are representative of the quality of artwork produced by Brian Jarvi but are not the actual artworks which will comprise An African Menagerie: The Inquisition.
Works for that project are currently in progress.

  • CONTENTS: Seven visually interlocking panels including a ten-foot by five-foot centerpiece; plus one-hundred related research sketches and mixed media studies; and title panel and labels.
  • SUPPORT: Education, Press, Registration, and Retail Sales Information
  • EDUCATION: Artist Appearance for Opening Receptions (pending schedule)
  • RETAIL: Coffee-table-sized book available (pending publication)
  • AVAILABILITY: 2016 through 2018

David J. Wagner, L.L.C., African Menagerie Tour Office
414.221.6878 • davidjwagnerllc@yahoo.com • davidjwagnerllc.com
Member American Alliance of Museums; International Council of Museums

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