About 100 species of lemurs live on the island of Madagascar. The astonishing diversity of lemurs in this one location has allowed scientists to make important advances in evolution and island biogeography. Unfortunately, habitat loss and hunting are threatening their survival. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lemurs are the world’s most endangered mammals, with up to 90% of all lemur species face extinction within the next 20 to 25 years.
The Lemur Conservation Foundation (LCF), is a small, Florida-based non-profit dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the Madagascar primates, is hosting a show of art featuring lemurs.
Vanishing, an exhibit featuring works from LCF’s permanent collection, includes works by 17 artists, including Alexis Rockman, who contributed Fragments, a painting depicting an imagined future of a devastated lemur habitat.
Rockman, well known for his dystopian visions of an earth ravaged by pollution and climate change, traveled to Madagascar in 2009 with LCF. He later painted Fragments, a lovely but unsettling image of a rare red ruffed lemur on a bare branch of a tree that offers little shelter or sustenance.
LCF founder Penelope Bodry-Sanders hopes the art exhibit will help people “understand the awfulness of extinction—without that, there is little hope for the future of lemurs and life itself in its magnificent diversity. “
Vanishing is on exhibit at Art Center Sarasota in Florida from May 22 – June 27. More information is here.