National Geographic’s Photo Ark is an attempt to document every species in the world’s zoos and other wildlife sanctuaries. (Image courtesy Joel Sartore/Photo Ark/National Geographic)

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

This summer, Liquidity Wines’ tasting room walls will be adorned with images from the National Geographic Photo Ark, a compelling series of photographic portraits that capture the beauty of Earth’s diverse species.

“The goal of the Photo Ark is simple: show what’s at stake, and get people to care, while there is still time,” said Joel Sartore, National Geographic photographer and founder of the Photo Ark.

This exhibition at Liquidity Wines in Okanagan Falls will be the only place the Photo Ark will be shown in Canada in 2018.

The Photo Ark is an ambitious project committed to documenting every species in the world’s zoos and other wildlife sanctuaries in hopes of inspiring people not just to care, but also to help protect these animals for future generations. In addition to creating an archival record for generations to come, this project is a hopeful platform for conservation and preserving species around the world.

Photo Ark will be showcased on multiple platforms, including a travelling exhibition that will open at Liquidity Wines in Okanagan Falls, B.C. on June 23. Featuring the work of Sartore, the exhibit will be on display until Sept. 3, 2018.

With 12,000 species in captivity to document, the project has many years to go, but when Ian MacDonald, owner and president of Liquidity, heard a touring exhibition had been assembled, he decided to try to bring it to the South Okanagan.

“I didn’t know who to call really. I just picked up the phone and called their offices,” said MacDonald. Eventually, he got redirected to the right person.

At first, MacDonald said, the response was a ‘where are you?’

‘“We were back and forth for a while, and I explained what we were doing here and our passion around the arts and all the other exhibits and shows that we have done over the years,” said MacDonald. He must have been convincing because National Geographic sent a representative from their Washington D.C. headquarters to look over Liquidity.

“They really liked it, because our idea is really different,” said MacDonald.

“Part of our show is going to be indoors in our regular gallery space and then the rest of the show is going to be done outdoors, on a walking trail just outside of the patio area for the bistro.”

MacDonald said they were very lucky.

“If you don’t ask, you don’t get. I just figured I would ask them and see what happened,” he said. “We are lucky to be bringing a show of this caliber from National Geographic to Liquidity.“

Organized by the National Geographic Society, the winery’s exhibition will feature more than 50 of these inspiring photographs, and provide visitors of all ages with an opportunity to learn about the project, its mission and conservation efforts.

The completed Photo Ark will be the largest single archive of studio-quality photographs of biodiversity ever. These iconic portraits have captured the imagination of people around the world and have even been projected on the Empire State Building and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

“I think it’s going to be great. The images are really striking and really powerful,” said MacDonald, who also points out that the exhibition at Liquidity will be free to view, unlike the museum shows in the U.S.

MacDonald said he has been passionate and committed to everything arts for a long time.

“It’s kind of wrapped into our DNA at Liquidity. We’re a wine, culinary and arts experience; that’s really what we want to offer to people,” said MacDonald.

Related: A perfect pairing: art and wine

National Geographic Photo Ark fans are also invited to join the conversation on social media with #SaveTogether and learn more about how to get involved with the project at natgeophotoark.org.

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