The Art Center has early roots to 2003, when a small, committed group of Painted Dog Conservationists encouraged the idea of art and conservation. Now its official name includes the Ndebele word for Painted Dog - IGANYANA ARTS is becoming known around the world.
The Center has been in full production in the town of Dete, on the border of Hwange National Park, since 2004. Thanks to Landela Safaris and the help of others, the impressive, bustling facility now houses both the crafts work and the administration for the Art Center.
The primary goal of the program is to bring immediate financial benefit to those artisans whose work proved of high quality. Artisans, both adults and youth, are provided with materials and equipment, a place to work and training where needed. They are paid per piece for products that pass quality control inspection. In the creative growth process, many are now developing their own unique signature style as well as their own product designs.
A secondary but equally important goal is teaching conservation through the sustainable use of natural resources during the selection of submitted products and the materials used to make them. In the spirit of the Painted Dog Conservation goals, the materials used are approximately 70% recycled.
A third benefit is to educate foreign tourists as well as the local residents about the precarious status of the Painted Dog in Africa, and more specifically in Zimbabwe.
With the support of Painted Dog Conservation volunteers who began identifying, encouraging, and training the talent in the area, the Center currently produces art and crafts for national and international markets via direct-purchase and online website sales. (For ordering information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
Eventually this project will become entirely self-sustaining and be administered by locals.
Snare Wire Sculpture
To further educate the world about the destruction of wildlife, and particularly the insidious and indiscriminate use of wire snares in illegal poaching, PDC has contracted local artists for a unique kind of help. By creating sculptures made from the wires picked up by our Anti-Poaching Units, the wonderful and unique creations turn the original malicious intentions to good ones. They have been sold at Christie's Auction in London and the proceeds from their sales are used to raise awareness, support our anti-poaching efforts, and to sustain the livelihood of their creators.