What do a Shasta Crayfish, Bumblebees, a Scrub Jay and the beloved Hollywood mountain lion named P22 have in common?  Two things: the amazing artist Louis Masai and The G2 Gallery.  

Louis Masai and the Bumble Bee

Renderings of these precious and endangered creatures can all be found on the outside walls of The G2 Gallery in Venice CA.  They have been exquisitely painted by the world famous mural artist Louis Masai.  

Louis grew up loving to paint and in due time obtained his degree from the reputable Falmouth School of Art in Cornwall, UK.  Louis looks at the world differently than many of us.  He questions conventions, analyzes problems, and imagines possibilities.  He faces the “blank canvas” both literally and metaphorically – with confidence and experience, crafting his message through his art.

Louis sees himself as a humble artist, but there is no denying the power of the visual language he employs.  The G2 Gallery is proud to display his work which aligns perfectly with our mission to support art, artists and the environment!

Next time you are in Venice, stop by The G2 Gallery and check out the beautiful art indoors, and now outdoors too.  Masai murals include:

Bumble Bee 

This species is endangered by habitat loss and degradation, intensive farming, disease, and pesticides.  Farm technology advances improved the operating efficiency of farms but led to practices harmful to bumble bees, including increased use of pesticides, loss of crop diversity (which results in flowering crops being available for only a short time), loss of hedgerows and the flowers that grew there, and loss of legume pastures.

Pathogens and parasites pose a threat to bumble bees.  The bumble bee is vulnerable to pesticides used widely on farms and in cities.  Bumble bees absorb toxins directly through their exoskeleton and through contaminated nectar and pollen.

Shasta Crayfish

Shasta Crayfish

This species is endangered by habitat loss from water diversions, predation, and competition with the exotic signal crayfish and other species.  Two entire populations have been extirpated since 1978.

The Signal crayfish threatens to take over the Shasta crayfish habitat in part because they mature faster and produce more than twice as many eggs per year.

Florida Scrub Jay 

Florida Scrub Jay

This species is endangered by dwindling scrub and wildfire suppression that leads to the natural succession of large trees that adversely affect the habitat.  In 1993, there were about 4,000 breeding pairs in the wild.  Studies found declines of nearly 33% since the 1993 census.

An inquisitive species, the Florida scrub jay willingly takes food from human hands. This tameness is dangerous because scrub jays fed by humans reproduce earlier in the year.  However, fledgling scrub jays feed on caterpillars present only in the late spring and summer leading to malnutrition or starvation.

Another danger occurs when people feed them near a road.  Collision with vehicles is a  major cause of death for scrub jays in urban areas.

Mountain Lion 

P-22 embodies the efforts of #SaveLACougars

P-22 is the inspiration for this mural.  P-22 is a young male cougar who crossed two major Los Angeles freeways when he left his mother to strike out and find his own territory.  That he found his way is nothing short of a miracle.

Essentially trapped within Griffith Park by surrounding freeways and urbanized areas, P-22 can find enough wildlife to eat, but he has little chance of ever escaping and finding a mate.  He also faces threats such as exposure to rodenticides; and recently he suffered from mange.

While we celebrate P-22’s survival, his situation is less than ideal.  P-22 is a symbol for the plight of urban wildlife.  His story has ignited interest in building wildlife crossings to connect habitats so mountain lions and other wildlife can move about safely.  For more information on how to help, visit Save LA Cougars Campaign at:  www.nwf.org/save-LA-cougars/P22-Mountain-Lion.aspx

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