Tuesday, January 20, 2015
On September 18th I went to The Abbey, (100 S Eola Dr, Orlando, Fl), to sketch some of the incredibly creative rhinos that artists were given to alter and decorate. The Horns and Heroes Project was an art show and art auction to benefit the International Rhino Foundation and others like it that focus on rhino conservation and the survival of rhinos throughout the world. The event not only celebrated rhinos, but brought awareness and educated the public about rhinos and the threats they face. The Horns and Heroes Project hopes to ensure the future of rhinos by bringing the world of art and conservation together.
A black rhino, sculpted by the talented SFX artist Barry S. Anderson was molded and cast in 70 individual sculptures. Each identical sculpture was given an artist to recreate in their own style and vision. Painters, illustrators, tattoo artists, sculptors, photographers and SFX make-up artists, just to name a few, were asked to participate in this year's event.
These works of art from top local and international artists were on display for one night only. Attendees were invited to place bids on the custom artworks through silent and live auctions to raise money for rhino conservation. The live music on stage was by Infinite Third. His music added a subtle new age vibe to the scene as the crowd grew thick. Captain America and Wonder Woman were mingling in the crowd of artists and patrons.
Thirty species of rhinos once roamed the earth. Now only five species remain. Poachers kill rhinos for their horns. Although they are made up mainly of keratin, the same material that makes up your hair and fingernails, many cultures believe that powdered rhino horn can cure everything from headaches to cancer. However, there has never been any clinical research to support any of these claims made by those who manufacture products made with rhino horn. Prices for rhino horn have skyrocketed in the past few years, making rhino horn now more expensive than the weight of gold. "We thought [last year] was the worst year on record with I think over 600 rhinos slaughtered. This year - and the year’s not even over yet - we have over 820 that have been killed." said Horns and Heros founder Chad Harmon. The first Horns and Heroes project in 2012 raised $6000 to help save rhinos. The September event raised $23,000 for the cause.