What happens to an ecosystem when one animal ceases to exist? The upcoming exhibition “Sobreviviendo: Manéjese Con Cuidado” (“Surviving: Handle With Care”) at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts (WPCA) creates awareness of disappearing species. Twenty-eight printmakers under the direction of renowned Mexican printmaker Juan Alcázar illustrate animals in distress.
Alcázar and the printmakers from Oaxaca, Mexico, decided to collaborate with zoologist Avril Figueroa on this exhibition in order to stress the significance of all species. A color catalog describes each animal in detail, its relationship to the environment and why the animal needs to be handled with care. As Figueroa states, “The ex tinction of any living being is an irreversible damage with consequences that affect everyone.”
Living only in the Oaxaca region, the Tehuantepec Jackrabbit (prized for its meat) begins the list of these endangered species. Struggling bats, jaguars, lions, ocelots, opossums and spider monkeys will sound more familiar to U.S. viewers. When birds and bees die, they often take with them the ability to pollinate vegetation—a critical function that helps human populations.
The exhibition comes to Milwaukee via UW-Whitewater. Members of the university’s faculty, including Michael Flanagan, traveled to Oaxaca and worked with students from an advanced printmaking class there. Flanagan, a board member at Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, brought the show to the WPCA’s attention. This timely exhibition opens Feb. 3 with a 5-9 p.m. reception.
“Sobreviviendo: Manéjese Con Cuidado”