New Initiative Sells Art to Support Preservation of Natural Forests

The Artists Saving Forests project offers an opportunity to buy digital artwork and support the Ancient Woods Foundation in restoring and preserving natural forests in Lithuania.

December 15th, 2020. A group of Lithuanian artists have teamed up to launch a fundraising initiative called Artists Saving Forests. The new project takes the form of an online platform where donated digital artworks are for sale for a symbolic price. All funds raised are allocated to the Ancient Woods Foundation supporting the protection and restoration of natural forest areas in Lithuania.

According to Eglė Plytnikaitė, the illustrator behind the initiative, the new initiative is particularly relevant during the pandemic and pre-holiday season as it allows contactless purchase and helps avoid health risks.

“The platform presents a perfect opportunity to buy unique gifts without even going outside,” said Plytnikaitė. “What is even more important is that this way people protect tiny forest territories from being cut down. I believe that as the project moves ahead, these territories will merge into one big forest that will eventually become a shelter for many species of animals, plants and mushrooms. At the end of the day, it is a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

The donated artwork represents the artists’ relationship with nature. For illustrator Raminta Juozapavičiūtė (Maivyda), the forest is an example and a teacher of life’s harmony.

“Only in the old woods that flourished and developed naturally are we able to see the web of tree roots: the connections and bonds with other trees, mushrooms and fauna,” said the artist. “This ancient and complex natural record astonishes and charms me every time I see it. It is like traveling back to the past that prevailed independently, when I did not even exist.”

Mindaugas Survila, a representative of the Ancient Woods Foundation and a documentary filmmaker, said that the best forest preservation practice is to leave it untouched, even though it might seem counterintuitive.

“There is not a single forest in Lithuania with an average age of over 300 years,” he said. “Before human economic activities started, ancient woods covered over 90% of Lithuania’s land. Now we have only 64 hectares of forests with an average age of 200 or more—that is a mere 0.0009% of the country’s territory. Our team understands that this tiny number is in no way sufficient to safeguard the survival of over 15 thousand different species of organisms. Such initiatives contribute to fostering old natural forests and we are happy to see that more and more people are willing to contribute.”

After selecting the artwork on the digital platform, the recipient will get a high-quality file (297×420 mm) of the artwork. It can be independently printed on selected canvas or paper.

Currently, the platform has a selection of 24 different works of art. Later on, the assortment will be updated and will also include artwork from international authors. Artists from all around the world are welcome to join the project and donate their works by contacting sengire.art@gmail.com.

ABOUT THE ANCIENT WOODS FOUNDATION

The Ancient Woods Foundation is a non-profit organization aimed at protecting the old forests of Lithuania. The foundation was established in 2018 by a group of biologists after a successful premiere of a documentary film Ancient Woods. Recognized by various national and international awards, the documentary attracted a record number of 67 thousand viewers in Lithuania, was awarded with two Silver Cranes and screened in 30 countries and over 50 international film festivals. Half of the documentary’s ticket sales were dedicated to the Ancient Woods Foundation with a goal to safeguard the endangered species and protect their shelter—the old woods of Lithuania, where the documentary itself was filmed.