We partnered with The Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI) in 2017 for both an art show and to raise money for wildlife conservation. What a great experience! And one that continues in 2018 with continued sales of a limited edition snowy owl bronze. RTPI is using 100% of the sales proceeds to help hellbender research, migratory bird conservation and an initiative to connect all of us to nature in our backyards.
Who is Roger Tory Peterson?
But first, some background on how we got involved. And just who is Roger Tory Peterson?
Ever wonder who wrote and illustrated all those guidebooks helping us identify birds in our backyard? We used the Peterson Field Guides growing up but didn’t realize there was an actual person named Peterson. Turns out Roger Tory Peterson was one of our nation’s pre-eminent bird artists and most influential naturalists. He also won the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Remarkable!
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI) in Jamestown, NY was established in his honor in 1984 with over 1200 of his original works of art. The Institute’s mission is to preserve Roger’s legacy while connecting people with nature through Art, Education, and Conservation.
A recent new initiative, ‘Project Wild America’, promotes experiencing nature in your own backyard. RTPI encourages young people to get involved in conservation work with threatened wildlife, especially in urban environments.
Dale and I are especially interested in their research on Eastern hellbenders and migratory birds. Not to mention their discovery of a population of spiny softshell turtles in downtown Jamestown. Talk about cool looking turtles!
Our Experience with RTPI
Dale had the honor of meeting Roger Tory Peterson several times growing up (so he actually knew there was a fellow named Peterson). He accompanied his father, M.C. Weiler (a renowned conservationist and sporting artist in his own right) to art exhibits in New York City. And this spring (4-21-17 through 7-2-17) Dale and his late father had a 2 person show at RTPI called The Weiler’s Evolution: A Father and Son’s Artistic Journey. The exhibit showcased Dale’s sculpture career over the last 20 years alongside the art of his dad including watercolors, sketches, and wood carvings.
The facility in Jamestown is stunning. On a recent visit to the Institute, we were impressed with the knowledgeable and passionate staff. The beauty of Roger’s paintings up close and personal and the archives of Roger’s letters, photography equipment and yes, even Presidential medals, is inspiring to us both.
Our Partnership with RTPI
First, try and visit The Institute if you are in Western NY. If you can’t visit, you can follow them on Facebook.
If you live near the Institute, you can become a Citizen Scientist. Help with one of the RTPI programs such as the winter raptor monitoring, dragonfly studies or frog watches.
And finally, donate your time and/or money. Dale carved a snowy owl to commemorate Roger Tory Peterson’s work. It has been cast into a limited edition of 50 bronzes sculptures. We are donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the bronzes to the RTPI ‘Project Wild America’ program. To purchase one, contact us.
Learn More About The Roger Tory Peterson Institute
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute http://www.rtpi.org
Roger Tory Peterson Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Tory_Peterson