A national park is a living work of art, but what happens when the very life of parks is threatened through things like climate change and funding cuts to the groups which maintain them? These are the very real threats to the glorious national parks of the USA, but a nifty little project called Art Rangers is finding a way for their survival through art!
Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, the Grand Canyon – these are all international icons that leave those fortunate enough to frolic in them breathless. Two friends, Oscar Nilsson and Alex Tatem, couldn’t sit still at the thought of the tragic trend of funding cuts to the USA’s National Park Service. Cue Art Rangers – a nonprofit online art gallery that sells works of art inspired by national parks. The lads set up the venture which gives 100% of proceeds toward the National Park Foundation, the official charity of the National Park Service. Since beginning in July 2017, the Art Rangers project has surpassed the five-figure mark in fundraising.
Any art – be it photography, performance, sculpture, painting or music – can be submitted online, with selected works being added to the Art Rangers’ gallery. Browsing the website takes the viewer on a journey through several iconic landscapes including Bryce Canyon, Crater Lake, Death Valley, Channel Islands, Denali, North Cascades, Zion and Yosemite. Viewers can purchase photos, or become a sponsor, and there are a growing number of corporate sponsors also supporting the cause.
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us – Anonymous
Art Rangers’ impassioned plea points out that national parks have always been here for us, as refuges and inspiration, playgrounds and classrooms. There’s 84 million acres of natural wonders spread across more than 400 parks in the USA, but that so many of the facilities are in disrepair. But where there’s action, there’s hope. “I really think the possibilities are endless,” Tatem says. Show your support here.
Want to see the beauty yourself? TripADeal travels to the great National Parks of the USA here.
Photo credit: Oscar Nilsson