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When Francesca Owens heard about the current upsurge in trafficking of tiger parts that has lead to the disappearance of tigers from many Indian tiger reserves and other tiger range countries she decided to take action the way she knows best, with her brush. She listened carefully to the key messages of the Campaign Against Tiger Trafficking and saw the images released with the press kit. She then conducted research of her own by speaking with tiger researchers as far afield as Russia and then began a series of paintings to express and share her emotional journey through the sordid business of tiger trafficking.
Her first set of paintings was inspired from a gruesome photo from WildAid Thailand of a tiger cut in half to be smuggled to traditional Asian medicine markets, and it is appropriately called "Did I die in vain"? The series explores traditional Asian medicine, smuggling, tiger farming, poaching, the concept of wilderness, and organized crime. This series is sobering, and emotionally exhausting but ends with a message of hope rendered from a photograph taken by Wildlife Conservation Society biologist John Goodrich of tigress that had been rescued from a snare in the woods of the Russian Far East. Francesca was inspired by an extraordinary picture of this spirited animal literally ‘exploding' to freedom from the back of a Land Rover and aptly titled it ‘release'. See more from this series at www.francescaowens.com
In late 2005, Francesca created a series of 9 mixed medium - charcoal, graphite and print relief works of art that portrayed the key elements tigers are facing becoming extinct in the wild. International attention ignited after Brian Gratwicke, assistant director for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation - Save the Tiger Fund (STT) publicized these images on their website. Using brilliant colors -- characteristic of her signature style – combined now with sobering graphic black and white images with hints of orange red charcoals, a poignant expression suggestive of this animal's fate, Owens creates a dynamic tension between art and reality.  The "Beauty of The Beast; Tigers Facing Extinction" traveling art exhibition will begin its tour visiting universities across the United States in 2007. This exhibition will be co-sponsored by Owens and the STT
The seeds to cultivate this traveling exhibition began sprouting after a spring 2005 visit to Stephanie Johnson, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES) Proposal Coordinator. Johnson was "taken aback by the vibrancy colors that jumped off" Owens' works. Her work attracted the attention of Donald D. Humphreys, an executive with the ExxonMobil Foundation, a sponsoring organization of the STT and a private collector of Owens' original work, "Tiger Gaze" after a Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM show.
Environmental issues facing today's tigers in the wild coupled with the striking features this majestic endangered species holds because of its beauty continues to be a hot global topics. Today, the impact of the loss of habitat and the demand for traditional Chinese medicine cures (using tiger bones as an arthritis remedy) has reached its critical threshold. 
The new exhibition will include the nine original pieces from the "Did I Die In Vain?" series, three new works tilted "Are We Really Gone?" and 10 beautiful watercolor tiger paintings. A mini documentary movie directed by Owens, features local Colorado school children exchanging questions and answers with John Goodrich, (WCS biologist heading up the Siberian Tiger Project) live from the Russia. Ananda Banerjee had donated live action "clips" including  one wild tigress attacking a man on an elephant when she sees her cubs have been relocated to a better place. Owens is still seeking her ultimate sponsor(s) who will wrap up the final expenses of this exhibition. Five thousand dollars more is needed for shipping crates to graphic story boards. Colorado Lawyers for the Arts has teamed up with International Law Firm, Faegre & Benson, accepting Francesca's Traveling Exhibition for pro- bono work.  Francesca was born in the Bronx, New York. She spent most of her youth just north of the city in Westchester, New York. She then moved to Denver, Colorado where she began her art career studying under several well-known watercolorists.
These instructors, including Frank Francese, Robert Burridge, Victor Martinez, and Stephen Quiller, contributed to her developing her own unique style. From them she gained knowledge and experience in color theory, using bold, vibrant color and other techniques that influenced her semi-abstract approach to watercolor painting.
She has been accepted into numerous juried art shows including the Curtis Arts and Humanities show and 2005 "This is Colorado" show at the Temple Buell Theatre in Denver.
Creating art through painting is the consummation of her dreams… especially fashioning beautiful images of nature through the watercolor medium. Her "Animals are Wild" series focuses on beautiful natural creatures, influenced by her untamed, Italian flair, of course!
 
Francesca's Heart Surgery Fundraiser Art Sale
Most of Francesca's close friends are aware of her upcoming heart surgery.  Although she has medical insurance, they will only cover 80% of the cost of the surgery which will be done in California. The community is asking to support Francesca by coming to ART ON THE TERRACE SALE on November 4th at her studio. She will be away for 3 weeks, in November and this is an opportunity  to meet a few artists and consider art work for holiday gifts. The art that will be on display and for sale will feature Francesca, Karen M. Kubicek and a few other local artists. For further information, questions or ideas contact Karen Kubicek at kmkubicek@msn.com .
What: Francesca's Heart Surgery Fundraiser - Art Sale. There will be an outdoor fire pit, Italian Music, good food and beverages/vino will be served! When: November 4, 2006, Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.Where: Francesca,s StudioGrant Ranch Community, Orchard Village6039 W. Prentice Ave., Littleton, Colorado 80123Phone: (720) 810-3297
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Original Painting

"Sun Downer"
By Sonia Reid
30 x 30
Oil on Canvas
$8200
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Original Sculpture

"Canyon Sentinal"
By Betsy Popp
15 x 16 x 6.5 (inches)
Wood Sculpture and Wall Hanging Relief Landscape
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