For John Banovich, the animals he paints aren’t ones he chooses—they choose him.
Painting animals allows him to fall into a rhythmic dance, the artist says, as the living, breathing and awe-inspiring creatures pull the artist and viewers in with the presence of life. For wildlife fans who aren’t always able to get up close and personal with animals, such as towering bears, majestic elk and mammoth marine life, the 34th annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, February 12 through 14 in Charleston, South Carolina, gives art lovers a glimpse into animal-filled worlds depicted by Banovich and more than 100 other wildlife artists.Art lovers at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition preview gala live auction in 2015.
Patrons can expect VIP events and exclusive art previews at this year’s Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.
“I feel privileged to capture animals’ stories,” says Banovich, based in Carnation, Washington, who was the 1998 event’s featured artist. “Painting a wild beast makes me feel as if I am paying homage to them. It is starkly apparent nearly every large wild species on earth is experiencing a decline in population. Wildlife one day will only be experienced in captivity, on film and on canvas. I feel a great responsibility to document how, as a society, we feel about our time on earth, living beside ‘big things with big teeth.”