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ENDANGERED: Art4Apes Call For Art Continues As We Celebrate Kirsten Hines, Virtual Artist In Residence For May

ENDANGERED Art4Apes Fine Art & Photography Contest encourages those artists and photographers who are committed to and focused on using their talent to support wildlife and the environment. Artists and Photographers ages 9 and up are encouraged to apply to this exhibition. The Virtual Artist in Residence Program is awarded monthly to the artist or photographer who has submitted 3 or more entries to the ENDANGERED Fine Art & Photography Contest 2020. The Rickie Report introduces Kirsten Hines, the May, 2020 Virtual Artist-In-Residence and more details of how to apply. Artists are urged to apply before the September 30, 2020 deadline to be part of this exhibition!







ENDANGERED   Fine Art & Photography   Contest




Photographer & Nature Writer

Virtual Artist in Residence, May 2020


Art4Apes wants to encourage those artists and photographers who are committed to and focused on using their talent to support wildlife and the environment.

Kirsten Hines, our Virtual Artist in Residence for May, is based in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami. She is a talented and dynamic photographer, author and conservationist. You can read her blog and see the images from her global travels on her website. We present here a taste of her work: http://



Kirsten’s Inspiration

Kirsten tells The Rickie Report, “I have always been inspired by nature. The plants and animals in my childhood yard in the Philippines hosted many an adventure, and led me to a master’s degree in biology. But somehow important issues, stories and even the wildlife I so adored lost their magic when defined by columns of scientific numbers. I now strive to convey environmental issues and stories through my writing and photography, without sacrificing the magic“.



“Study in Stripes” © 2020 Kirsten Hines. All Rights Reserved.


Like a human finger print, each zebra has distinctive stripes. This variation seemed most prominent to me on the tail, particularly in this grouping of zebras in a water hole at Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park where each of these zebras had a bold yet unique tail pattern.


I seek to provide an intimate perspective on nature from around the world, reflecting wildlife, their behaviors, and habitats both in an unaltered documentary- style and in a more interpretive abstract style achieved in-camera to convey the emotional experience.







“Glimmer of Hope” © 2020 Kirsten Hines. All Rights Reserved.


Found only on Isla Escudo de Veraguas in Panama’s Bocas del Toro archipelago, Pygmy Three-Toed Sloths are listed Critically Endangered. This one was asleep in a mangrove tree when we arrived by boat, looking up only momentarily as the boatman demonstrated its mating whistle.


Focus on the Natural World

It was two memories from my childhood in the Philippines that really transformed my love of exploring nature into a passion for environmental conservation….

The first was a bird – the kind of flamboyant bird one imagines from the tropics with bright colors and elaborate plumes. I’d never seen a bird like it in our yard before but as I raced to the window for a better view, a young stranger shot it from the tree with a slingshot. The bird was bagged and gone before my family had a chance to protest. I never saw another like it.






“Sunset Heron” © 2020 Kirsten Hines. All Rights Reserved.



As the sky outside St. Augustine, Florida blazed with sunset colors, the marsh before me glowed orange and gold. Water ripples became black lines across a scene that looked more like graphic art than a wetland. Then this Great Blue Heron emerged from the vegetation, returning the scene to nature once again.


The other memory wasn’t a single event but rather the progressive change in scenery along our weekly commute between Manila and our rural home in Cavite. Slowly but steadily stilt-houses in small coastal fishing villages and thatch huts in luscious rice fields succumbed to bulldozers and concrete. The last time I took the route, 25 years ago by now, the city had all but engulfed our formerly provincial compound. I could count on one hand the remaining patches of green. I mourned for the children I saw playing at the highway’s edge. They would never chase the end of a rainbow through meadows and mango orchards to find a pool of golden light at the end as I once had.






“Savanna Skyline” © 2020 Kirsten Hines. All Rights Reserved.


My day on the Serengeti was drawing to a close. A lone hartebeest stood silhouetted against the evening sky. A large, uniquely horned African antelope, the outline of a hartebeest is distinctive. This was likely a male, overseeing his territory prior to nightfall.


How I Get My Shots

I’ve always been an explorer…


I’m happiest tromping barefoot through the mud, along a stream, in a tidepool or anywhere I might find something new and exciting to experience in nature. Whether I was in a big city or some remote jungle, I was always seeking unusual plants and animals regardless of whether it was a single flower peeking from a crack in a sidewalk or a troop of howler monkeys swinging through the trees.







“Desert Elegance” © 2020 Kirsten Hines. All Rights Reserved.


Protected within the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve in the United Arab Emirates, this pair of mountain gazelles (Gazella gazella) peeked down at me from atop their camouflaging dune. Wary with reason given their IUCN Red-listing as Vulnerable, these Arabian Peninsula natives are extirpated across broad portions of their natural range.


I minimize post-processing and avoid digital manipulation.

I attempt to stay as true to the moment as possible and because nature is impressive without human intervention. With my photography and writing, I aim to lure viewers more deeply into the natural world than they might venture on their own. I aim to reflect nature and inspire conservation.



Kirsten’s Entries to the ENDANGERED Fine Art & Photography Contest 2020

I’ve been participating in the ENDANGERED Fine Art & Photography Contest since I first discovered it in 2015. The title alone caught my attention, and I was hooked when I realized it wasn’t just a namesake, the goal was in fact conservation.





“Texture of Life” © 2020 Kirsten Hines. All Rights Reserved.


Skin differences between a baby and mother elephant signify aging. In the surrounding savanna, ancient baobab trees have no saplings. Elephants cannot migrate across Africa, restricted to parks for their protection. Habitats suffer without respite. Yet outside, 96 elephants a day die for ivory.




“Arctic Face-off” © 2020 Kirsten Hines. All Rights Reserved.


Two iconic arctic predators – a polar bear and a gray wolf, both large males – assess one another in Manitoba, Canada. The pair circled one another, there were a couple of false charges, and ultimately, they went their separate ways. Perhaps they know, a heating planet is the true enemy.



When I looked into the non-profit being supported by the show, I realized an even deeper personal connection. I had volunteered at the Center for Great Apes over a decade prior with a group of friends. We’d stayed in a house alongside a baby chimpanzee who’d needed personalized care, and helped build a new boardwalk between outdoor enclosures. It is a center built from love, to provide long-term care and a family for primates that can never be returned to the wild and to try and prevent future incursions.

The ENDANGERED Fine Art & Photography contest carries this love forward, passionately promoting endangered species and environmental conservation while creating a family of friends. I’m honored to be part of that family.




“Pondering” © 2020 Kirsten Hines. All Rights Reserved.


I wondered what this silverback Mountain Gorilla pondered as I visited its forested home in Rwanda. Perhaps it was the routine oddity of daily human visits, visits that however odd have helped protect this critically endangered species, shifting economic incentives from poaching and deforestation to tourism.

How Can Artists Help?


We live at a time when our environmental challenges are greater and more global than ever before. We are losing species at unprecedented rates and climate extremes are no longer regional, they’re becoming our planetary norm. We also live at a time when people are constantly inundated with words and images through the internet and social media.


We live in a world of competing messages and it is of utmost importance the health of the earth remains at the forefront of that messaging. Every artist who includes endangered species and conservation as part of their work is helping to keep this essential message alive.


Humans must learn to co-exist with nature, before we too must join the list of endangered species.



See more of Kirsten’s work at:

Kirsten’s next planned round of solo exhibitions will coincide with the release of my Wild Florida book, likely in 2022. In the interim, my studio gallery in Coconut Grove is open by appointment and I continue to participate in group exhibitions as opportunities arise. At the moment my work is on display with the Ft. Lauderdale branch of the National League of Pen Women at Broward College in Davie.

My presentation schedule has been put on hold during the pandemic, but I anticipate rescheduling several talks in the fall, hopefully including presenting my new Dry Tortugas National Park book at the Miami International Book Fair.  I will also continue teaching bird photography workshops in partnership with Tropical Audubon Society, and I will lead a multi-day workshop and trip to Dry Tortugas National Park next spring. Details will be posted on my website at, where people can also sign-up for my quarterly newsletter for additional news and updates.



Follow Kirsten at:
Twitter: @KirstenNatTrav
Instagram: @kirstennaturetravel






The 8th annual ENDANGERED Fine Art & Photography Contest

Enter Now! ?content=event_info&event_id=1661

Entry Deadline:  September 30, 2020.




The 8th annual ENDANGERED

Fine Art & Photography Contest

Enter Now!

Entry Deadline:  September 30, 2020






This global, juried, online art contest focuses attention on the plight of endangered/threatened species/habitats. The challenge is to interpret or reflect ENDANGERED through either:


• Celebration of the beauty of endangered or threatened species/habitats

• Illustration of the threats facing endangered species/habitats Categories for Entry:

Fine Art (including sculpture, jewelry and wearable art) Fine Art Photography (digital manipulation accepted)

Young Artists (birthdays on or after October 1st, 2001). We will accept individual or class/group entries.)

We are sorry, but we cannot accept video or film entries in the contest.


Each entry of a single image must be accompanied by a donation of $25 USD that goes directly to the Center for Great Apes Young Artists enter one image accompanied by a donation of $5 USD.

There is no limit on the number of entries that may be made.


Cash prizes totaling $3,250 will be awarded in both Fine Art and Fine Art Photography categories. Cash prizes totaling $500 USD will be awarded in the Young Artists Contest.


Prizewinners plus an invited selection of entries of significant merit will be offered places in the ENDANGERED Fine Art & Photography Exhibition.


Covid-19 Impact on Exhibition

Planning an exhibition in the Covid-19 era presents significant issues. We hope for the best, but must consider that resurgence of the virus could force last- minute cancellation or strict social distancing, severely limiting visitor numbers. We will make a decision mid-summer as to whether the real life exhibition will take place.

The Juried Contest to determine the winners of our $7,000 in prize money will go ahead, closing date on  September 30, 2020.

We are developing an exciting virtual exhibition to run regardless of the Covid-19 situation. This exhibition will run from November 1 to December 31, 2020. Jury scores (and fit with the theme) will determine the top placed pieces that will get the best positioning. We will be able to feature 100 pieces in the virtual 2-month show rather than the 50 we can accommodate in the real life show. Another great plus is that we will be able to feature EVERY entry as we will reserve an additional 25 places for a “rolling exhibition” so every piece will be featured for at least 5-7 days.

All pieces may be offered for sale (or not depending on preference) and we will be including links to artist websites and bios as well as full details on the piece.

We are planning interesting online events to run during the exhibition.

This will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase the work of all entrants to the ENDANGERED Fine Art & Photography Contest.

Please note: Entries made after May 31st are not refundable should the physical exhibition not take place. Entries made before May 31st will be refunded providing the artist notifies by June 30th.







Art4Apes wants to encourage those artists and photographers who are committed to and focused on using their talent to support wildlife and the environment. This program is designed to showcase their work and support their communication with audiences who appreciate their message.



The Virtual Artist in Residence Program is awarded monthly to the artist (or photographer) who has submitted 3 or more entries to the ENDANGERED Fine Art & Photography Contest 2020 and has been selected by the Curatorial Committee as best interpreting the aims of the Contest.



The successful Artist will be featured and promoted by Art4Apes for one month and will receive the following opportunities:

• Weekly social media posts featuring your artwork
• You will be featured in our monthly newsletter
• We will design an eflyer for you to send out to clients and contacts • We will set up a dedicated page for you on the Art4Apes website

o You will have the opportunity to craft a personal message about your art and commitment to wildlife and the environment.

o We will include your full bio and artist statement
o We will include a virtual gallery of up to 10 pieces of your work
o We will issue news updates featuring your current work, exhibitions, awards, direction of new work etc.
o We will feature your work in an article in The Rickie Report – South Florida’s most influential online arts report.
o We will offer up to 5 pieces of work for sale on our online website (price to include a 30% donation to the Center for Great Apes.

We regret that we cannot offer this to Young Artists at the moment. Artists can only be featured once a year.



Enter Now!

Entry Deadline:  September 30, 2020








Proceeds benefit the Center for Great Apes








For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986


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