This September, D&R Greenway will join with Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey to premiere a new exhibition called Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition.
The realistic paintings by James Fiorentino depict some of the state’s most endangered and vulnerable species. During the premiere exhibit through October, sales of the original paintings, limited edition digital prints and a book with a forward by former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, as well as wildlife merchandise, will benefit D&R Greenway Land Trust and Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.
“Renowned as one of the best sports artists in the country, Jim’s work hangs in major museums,” says Governor Kean, who met the artist while serving as president of Drew University. James was a student there in the 1990s, when his sports figures started receiving national attention. He was featured on ABC World News and in the New York Times. “In recent years he has turned to wildlife. Jim has created an amazing body of work. Many of the creatures he paints are endangered, and Jim celebrates their uniqueness and beauty.” Governor Kean’s passion for nature inspired James to become a trustee for the Raptor Trust in Millington, N.J.
“Mr. Fiorentino’s incredibly evocative artwork inspires viewers by putting a spotlight on these charismatic yet often overlooked wildlife species,” says Conserve Wildlife Foundation New Jersey Executive Director David Wheeler. “His watercolor paintings truly bring wildlife to life. His art helps to educate and engage viewers about the precipitous declines that many of these species have suffered. It helps us bring attention to the very tangible steps that people can take to save and strengthen these wildlife populations.”
“D&R Greenway is a wonderful organization with an educational mission, and their gallery space is perfect for presenting informative panels,” says James. “We hope to have a biologist and animals at the opening to educate visitors about wildlife.”
“The subject of disappearing New Jersey wildlife speaks directly to the work that we do to protect habitats,” says D&R Greenway President & CEO Linda Mead. “As an admirer of James Fiorentino’s artistic talent, I am thrilled that we were selected as the premiere venue for this exhibition. Conserve Wildlife Foundation New Jersey has been a long-time partner with D&R Greenway, exhibiting their ‘Species on the Edge’ fifth-grade art and essay contest winners annually in our Olivia Rainbow Gallery.”
James Fiorentino was first introduced to D&R Greenway by 2016 Donald B. Jones Conservation Awardee Wade Martin, who began collecting his artwork when James was a teenager. From sports icons, James gravitated to painting political figures, including Mikhail Gorbachev, Desmond Tutu, George H. W. Bush, Steve Forbes and Gov. Kean. “Wade volunteers with D&R Greenway to educate landowners about the financial benefits of preserving land. He connected me with the organization to exhibit my wildlife art,” says James. In 2014, Conserve Wildlife’s David Wheeler attended at D&R Greenway’s Wild Creatures: Protecting Endangered Wildlife for 40 Years and saw a bobcat and red-tailed hawk painted by James.