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Art, Fashion, Literacy, Prevent Human Trafficking....anything else cool?

September 14th, 2016

Art, Fashion, Literacy, Prevent Human Trafficking....anything else cool?

So here is the first part of my super exciting reveal! On August 6th I found 3 e-mails lost in my Spam folder...Wow, am I glad I looked there!

"I'm reaching out as I think your art is truly exceptional and I’d like invite you to become a collaborating artist with us here at (the company). The aesthetics of your work are perfect for apparel prints and I’d love to see if you’d be open to working with us to transform your artwork into professionally manufactured elegant apparel."

And that's how it began. I'm up and running and for a few days you can get $15 off!

shopVIDA is a Google Venture (HOW COOL IS THAT!) backed eCommerce platform that gives artists a chance to share their beautiful art with a global market by means of a fashion collection. This collaboration of designers and makers around the world creates original, inspiring and high quality apparel in a socially conscious and eco-friendly way – only what is ordered is made, makers are taught literacy and math skills. The buyer receives luxurious, made to order, unique high end clothing that will make a difference and make them stand out in a crowd as a trend setter.

Sure wish I could show you more pictures here...

Contrasting Interpretations of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971

June 10th, 2016

Contrasting Interpretations of  the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971

I will soon be attending the 2016 Social Impact Conference in Los Angeles, and will be showing my most popular wild horse image (White Mare Approached#1 Close Up), and decided to do a little research. Robert Redford's love, concern and activism on behalf of mustangs includes being on the Board of Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary, and is a fantastic example of using the Arts and Entertainment to bring attention to an issue, create a social impact and be a change agent. In fact the first photos I took of mustangs was at Return to Freedom in Lompoc, California. My way of being a part of the movement to protect wild horses is to donate 20% of proceeds of my images to nonprofits caring for wild horses.

I decided to do a little research prior to the event and found and interesting contrast of "opinions" - or perhaps I should say emphasis of attention on the protection of wild horses and burros. BLM, the Bureau of Land Management, is charged with the protection and management of wild herds, and they say on their Quick Facts web page (http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/history_and_facts/quick_facts.html) that their role is to "The Bureau of Land Management manages, protects, and controls wild horses and burros under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act (as amended by Congress in 1976, 1978, 1996, and 2004)." (So far so good.) But the very next sentences state, "This law authorizes the BLM to remove excess wild horses and burros from the range to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands. The BLM also manages the nation’s public lands for multiple uses, in accordance with the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act. The Bureau manages wild horses and burros as part of this multiple-use mandate." Which means they go straight to removal and 'multiple uses,' meaning basically allowing for grazing cattle herds on federal land.

I decided to look at the Act they are referring to, and you can too by going to the Quick Facts page (http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram/history_and_facts/quick_facts.html) and clicking on the link. The Congressional Findings andDEclaration of Policy is beautiful and meaningful. "Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands."

While it does than discuss the removal of excess wild horses and burros where there is overpo;pulaion, including the multipupose 'clause" the emphasis seems to be on all wildlife species. Here is the exact language. "The Secretary shall manage wild free-roaming horses and burros in a manner that is designed to achieve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands. He shall consider the recommendations of qualified scientists in the field of biology and ecology, some of whom shall be independent of both Federal and State agencies and may include members of the Advisory Board established in section 1337 of this Act. All management activities shall be at the minimal feasible level and shall be carried out in consultation with the wildlife agency of the State wherein such lands are located in order to protect the natural ecological balance of all wildlife species which inhabit such lands, particularly endangered wildlife species. Any adjustments in forage allocations on any such lands shall take into consideration the needs of other wildlife species which inhabit such lands."

Instead the needs of grazing cattle are put above the wild horses and that "balance" falls toward private ranches using federal lands to graze their herds...then we are led to believe that the horses are starving or cannot be sustained on the land. But it is in their removal and in BLM's holding pens that they become unhealthy and emaciated, and a twisting of the Act's values says that to kill them is to protect them.

So you tell me...how quickly does it make you jump to the conclusion of REMOVAL? More than one sentence, I hope!

I am afraid what was intended as a positive things has been turned to the opposite, and the wild horses are the literal victims of unintended consequences. I will not go further into the tragic details, but you can find out more on the Return to Freedom site.

I have photos of these amazing animals that are being protected FROM the Bureau of Land Management in several ways and in two different states. See my Wild Horse and Mustang art gallery at taken pictures that you can find http://heather-kirk.pixels.com/collections/wild+horses+and+mustangs
Any purchases will help support the following agencies. Please visit their sites to find out more!
Return to Freedom in Lompoc, California: http://returntofreedom.org/what-we-do/sanctuary/

The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group is an Arizona non-Profit Organization set up to monitor, study and preserve the Salt River Wild Horses.
https://www.facebook.com/SaltRiverWildHorses?fref=ts
http://saltriverwildhorsemanagementgroup.org/about




Thin Places Found in Botanical Gardens in Dominican Republic

October 7th, 2012

Thin Places Found in Botanical Gardens in Dominican Republic

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith - 101 Inspirational Stories about Life, Belief, and Spiritual Renewal

An inspiring and faith filled story by Heather J. Kirk titled "Thin Places" is included in the newest Chicken Soup for the Soul edition, which releases on October 16th, 2012. Her story is about her decision to move to the Dominican Republic, the difficulties she encountered there, and the presence of God and the opening of her eyes and her breath that allowed her to experience life differently.

The Pictures here are all taken in the Botanical Gardens noted in the story. Water Lilies Gallery

I learned about the concept of Thin Places from Reverend Timothy Smith at Water From Rock Bible Study. Water From Rock"

These Books can be personally signed - I have a few books available for sale even before the "in-store date"

Also found in my Amazon store here, but I can't sign these

Gardening at Night Art Exhibition at Shemer in Phoenix, April 21 2011 7 to 9 pm

April 19th, 2011

Gardening at Night Art Exhibition at Shemer in Phoenix, April 21 2011 7 to 9 pm

Artist Reception, Thursday, April 21, 2011, 7 to 9 pm
April 20 – May 25, 2011: Solo show by Heather J. Kirk, Gardening at Night runs concurrently with Shemer “House of Fun” group show.

The Shemer Art Center & Museum
5005 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85018
Regular Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00AM - 3:00PM, Thursday Evening 6:30 – 8:30PM
602-262-4727

Photographic Artist Heather J. Kirk of Scottsdale surrounds herself with flowers – at least on the walls. In spite of her love for all things botanical, she can’t seem to grow a real garden. In the fertile ground of her mind and assisted by technology, her garden grows, as she photographs flowers, sometimes still attached to the rest of the plant, sometimes cut off, cut apart, rearranged or turned into virtual hybrids; flowers that will not wither, cultivated to perfection in the dark hours of the night. Heather's website is www.HeatherJKirk.com and she can be reached at HJKirk@juno.com.
The Shemer Art Center & Museum is located in a historic home nestled in Arcadia. It’s dedicated to the promotion, education, and growth of Arizona artists and providing the community with a unique and inviting atmosphere to enjoy and learn about visual art through exhibitions, classes and programs.