Artist and Disney designer Joe Rohde set out on a month-long horseback expedition across the Altai Mountains of Western Mongolia, one of the last strongholds of the endangered snow leopard, with the intention of painting large scale landscapes to raise funds for Snow Leopard conservation. Facing blizzards, rebellious camels and the rapidly approaching Mongolian winter, it was a pilgrimage that explores why we travel, how we interact with the world, and the monumental effect that has on everything else - including the elusive and enigmatic snow leopard.
According to Joe’s Blog the journey and the paintings, and the blog "will help focus attention on this beautiful and endangered creature."
"Why landscape paintings? The leopard, in spirit, is the land. When they disappear, the land loses a vital entity, a piece of itself. People don’t understand that animals are not objects in a landscape. They are the land itself, expressed as living things. The environment is the leopard. The leopard is the land, two essences inextricably linked, both mysterious, beautiful, and threatened. I will be in the land, too, painting what it is to be, there. The paintings will be sold and auctioned upon return from the expedition to raise money towards snow leopard conservation."
Since his trip, Joe has gone on to raise over $40,000 for snow leopard conservation through sales of the paintings he created in Mongolia. The paintings are bold and vibrant and capture the full essence of what was directly in front of Joe’s eyes – often the same view of any snow leopards living in the area. While many of the original paintings have been sold, there are still a few available along with prints that have been made available at the Snow Leopard Conservancy website.
About Joe Rohde
Joseph "Joe" Rohde is an artist and designer with a steady job in the theme park and resort world. He spent his childhood on the island of O’ahu just inland from Waikiki, at a time when Hawai’i had just become a state. It was not your typical childhood, nor your typical neighborhood, but it was a good start on a strange path. From there, Joe moved to Southern California, where he lived in one place or another for almost half a century.
All his life Joe had been around the world of theater and illusion. His father was in the film industry. His mother trained as an actress. Joe had drawn and painted since he was younger than he can remember. He has traveled extensively in Europe, Africa and Asia, a bit less so elsewhere.
The Adventurers’ Club of Los Angeles®
For centuries, scientists have argued over the origins of the Polynesian people. Today, many scientists dispute the existence of lost continents and dismiss native people’s creation myths, such as Hiva of Rapa Nui legend. But if the definition of “continent” is redefined as a vast “territory” connected by water not by land, could the lost “continent” of the Pacific be the Polynesian Triangle, and could the advanced Polynesian civilization have reached the Americas 500 years before Columbus?
The son of well-known wildlife expert Jim Fowler, host of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom”, Mark grew up traveling the world, each time returning home with once-in-a-lifetime stories.
From Africa to Siberia, Polynesia to the Amazon, Mark has traveled the world meeting unforgettable people and encountering remarkable wildlife, experiences that continue to ignite his true passion for the natural world. But now many of the incredible wild animals and wild places that Mark has encountered over a lifetime of exploration and travel are now under threat.
His father Jim Fowler introduced exotic wildlife to American living rooms, and now 30 years later, Mark is on a mission to help save these same awe-inspiring species and their habitats for future generations. He will carry on the family legacy by continuing to educate and to help conservation efforts worldwide in the hope that the threatened species of his childhood memories don’t disappear.
In 2000 Mark parlayed his family legacy into a role of producer and co-host of the syndicated 22-episode television series “Life in the Wild” with his father and sister, for which they were Emmy nominated. Since then he has continued to produce non-fiction television and film projects through his production company, Wild Life Productions for Nat Geo Channel, Discovery Networks, Travel Channel, and Sony Pictures Television as well as for commercial clients, foundations, non-profits, and government agencies such as NOAA and NASA, HURL, WHOI, S.W.A.T, the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, among others.
The Adventurers’ Club of Los Angeles®
After graduating from Columbia medical school Daniel Kasey Estrada knew that once he began his internship and residency he would be too busy travel for a while. So he planned a whirlwind trip through Peru for himself and invited his godfather and Adventurers’ Club member Rick Flores to come along with him; Daniel’s cousin Katherine Estrada later joined them on the trip.
The Trip went from Lima to Puerto Maldonado, on to Cusco, Arequipa and ended back in Lima. They traveled by plane, riverboat, raft, bus, rented car, moto, burro and hiked whenever possible. They visited and experienced the natural wonders of the Amazon rain forest, the awe-inspiring heights of Huayna Picchu, and the immensity and grandeur and of Colca Canyon. They were mystified and amazed by the petroglyphs and streamlined ruins of the native people.
Rick Flores will be presenting this talk about all of their first-time experiences in the Incan wonderland of Peru.
The Adventurers’ Club of Los Angeles thanks our member, Rick Flores, for volunteering this presentation.