IFAW and Leonard Joel Host ‘Art to Roam” Virtual Art Auction to Benefit African Wildlife

16072021, 2021 by Paul Mitchell (born 1970) from DADAA in Sydney, Australia. Ink and acrylic on canvas.

By Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer

In honor of World Animal Day on October 4th, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is hosting a virtual auction called “Art to Roam” in collaboration with Australian auction house Leonard Joel and creative studios worldwide. The event will raise funds for international artists, and also for the Room to Roam program, which uses a holistic conservation approach to protect African wildlife and sustain human communities in East and Southern Africa. 


Why This Matters: African wildlife is increasingly facing habitat destruction, climate change, and conflict with humans. During the COVID-19 pandemic, poaching increased due to a lack of ecotourism and funding for conservation programs. “This global pandemic has, and continues to challenge all walks of life and these fields of community and conservation activity are no exception,” explained IFAW Board Member and Leonard Joel Chairman John Albrecht. “I hope the online nature of this event makes it all the more easy for lovers of art and conservation to come on board.”  


Art to Roam

The online auction will feature over 90 works from 55 artists and 10 studios. Proceeds will be split between artists, supported studios, and IFAW’s Room to Roam project which partners with local landowners and governments to ensure safe and protected passage for elephants facing habitat loss. So far, IFAW has secured 54,035 acres of land for protected wildlife habitats.


IFAW’s Vice President for Global Programs, Jimmiel Mandima, says that global partnerships are crucial to the success of programs like this one. “Our plans are ambitious and can’t be achieved alone – only together can we protect African elephants, develop healthy, resilient ecosystems to support communities, and ensure animals and people can truly thrive together.”


As mentioned, the auction will also raise funds for “supported studios” around the world, which are art studios that promote inclusion and support artists with specific health or social needs. “Through these studios, neurodiverse artists are able to empower themselves and develop professional growth in the art sector,” said IFAW. 


Featured works include drawings, paintings, and glazed earthenware. Viewers can support the auction, artists, studios, and wildlife from home by watching live online on October 4th at 1pm EST.

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