Art Show at Hormel Nature Center brings attention to Minnesota’s endangered species

Published 9:17 am Wednesday, February 19, 2020

An art show coming to the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center Saturday and Sunday is not just giving people a chance to see works produced by artists across the region, but also learn about endangered species in Minnesota.

“It’s not for the whole world so you’re not going to come and see a snow leopard. You’re going to come and see the Canadian lynx, the piping  clover bird and trumpeter swans,” Office Manager Julie Champlin said. “It’s just about Minnesota so that makes it even more exciting.”

While the center and its visitors would not be against learning about endangered animals around the world, these works will give people an idea of the issues in their own area, Champlin said.

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Other animals depicted will include the timberwolf, which has ranged from endangered to special concern, and peregrine falcons, which are making a comeback.

One species that will fit in with work being done by the center throughout this year will be the rusty patched bumblebee. In 2020, the nature center is focusing on pollinators and the issues facing these animals.

Pollinators like bees are an incredibly important part of the ecosystem and species like the rusty patched bumblebee are becoming very threatened..

“Bees in general are so crucial in growing our food,” she said. “If we lose our bees, we are going to be suffering in more ways than one.”

The works were spearheaded by Ivette Martinez, who gathered artists from the area to produce pieces that could raise awareness on endangered species. At the event, there will be a number of different mediums shown.

At the show, people will be able to hear from artists about their work and why they chose their subjects.

For Champlin, having different ways for people to learn about nature is important, because it allows the center to reach different types of people. While some may come solely for scientific information, others may want to learn through projects like the pieces of art.

She pointed to former intern Savanna Dahl as getting arts more integrated into the center’s programming. What illustrated the possibilities of these works for Champlin was when Dahl made a 3D display of Eurasion Milfoil, an invasive species in Minnesota waters.

“Eurasian Milfoil is not really exciting to look at in the real world, but when you see it in an art box, it just brought a whole different group of people,” Champlin said.

The presentation by artists will be on Saturday, from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.