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Acclaimed artists shine light on Franklin Park Zoo’s vital conservation efforts

Zoo New England’s Franklin Park Zoo has partnered with acclaimed artist duo SNIK in a collaboration aimed at raising awareness about ZNE’s global One Health focused work and conservation initiatives.

Handle With Care, a project of location-specific murals designed to run along the walls of Franklin Park Zoo’s Tropical Forest Pavilion, represents a thematic expansion of the common thread in SNIK’s pieces – the fragile relationship between humanity & the natural world, and an ecosystem reliant on global education & understanding.

The UK-based duo – whose hyper-realistic works over the last two decades have become landmarks in cities worldwide from Berlin to Hong Kong – will bring to life the flora and fauna housed within the building it will be painted on.

Throughout the two-week installation, from April 24 – May 3, visitors will have the unique opportunity to observe the artists while they create these stunning paintings, which include a western lowland gorilla, clouded leopard, a black and white ruffed lemur, and a Panamanian golden frog – all of which are species with compelling conservation stories.

“Conservation and education are the cornerstones of our mission, and this new mural is another way to connect our visitors to the incredible biodiversity of our planet,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO. “By providing opportunities for people to more deeply understand the natural world and all of its inhabitants, we aim to build empathy, inspire people to take an active role in preserving healthy ecosystems, and create a better world for people, animals and wild places – now, and in the future.”

Every day, ZNE’s staff are working to save species from extinction while the Zoos are also serving as centers of education, conservation, and important research that is supporting field conservation. Utilizing cutting edge science, as well as partnerships with Boston’s leading institutions, ZNE’s impactful conservation field work is far-reaching, both locally and globally. From rare and threatened species right here in eastern Massachusetts to snow leopards in Mongolia, Cross-river gorillas in Nigeria, amphibians in Panama and One Health focused work in Madagascar, ZNE is actively working to save animals from extinction.

SNIK’s collaboration with Franklin Park Zoo will seek to draw attention to the essential conservation work taking place on local and global levels, to the benefit of communities, animals and environments worldwide. Particular care is placed on collaboratively working with local communities to preserve and protect biodiversity, restore healthy habitats and to positively impact overall health - for people, animals and habitats.

“Our modern-day, single-use society rarely allows time for reflection on our role within the natural world. Looking from a macro level to see the bigger picture is hugely important to the animals we share a planet with, and human health cannot be separated from that of the ecosystems on which we depend,” said SNIK, adding, “Art – public art particularly, acts as a means of sharing a message, and we have a responsibility to use our platform to amplify ZNE’s efforts. Art should ultimately be a vehicle for change, and initiatives like this will hopefully create a blueprint for others going forward.”

This mural was made possible by the generous support of project partners: The Arel Family, Mirrione, Shaugnessy & Uitti, LLC, Sevigney-Lyons, Insurcomm, CertaPro Painters Andover, Johnson Paint, Blue Frog Bakery, Bank United, Avidia Bank, Adam Quenneville Roofing, RowCal Management, and Performance Landscaping.

Please note: Media is welcome to take photos and video of the mural installation. Videos and photographs of the mural project will also be available for all media formats.

 

Photography by Liam Keown (Snik Portrait)