Art locals saw Africa through the eyes of a wildlife artist, author and safari expert Fred Krakowiak on Thursday at the Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery.
The gallery in partnership with Adventures by the Book, Kahala Travel and Micato Safaris served up South African wine, appetizers and showcased Krakowiak's African-inspired pieces and stories. The author-artist also interacted with attendees.
Krakowiak, who has more than 25 years of artist experience, works in a number of mediums, including acrylic on canvas, bronze, dye on silk, oil on canvas and oil on copper. He is also an avid storyteller. In his book The Artist's Safari, Krakowiak captures shares adventures and sights with words, photos and paintings.
On his website, Krakowiak said, "Close encounters with the amazing creatures of Africa allow me to look deep into their souls and capture their spirits with pen, lens, and paintbrush. My heart beats even harder when I shut my eyes and remember my reflection in their stares. I am humbled by the gifts they offer by allowing me to witness their instinctual fight for survival. I am driven to paint because I know they are in a battle for their existence. The statistics are appalling. Fifty years ago there were 450,000 lions in the wild; today there are 20,000. Where once 700,000 leopards roamed, today only 50,000 exist. The cheetah once numbered 100,000 back in the early 1900s; today some 10,000 of these beautiful cats remain. These sad numbers, as well as the animals’ magnificence, motivate me to honor the dignity and beauty of these superb creatures by capturing them in my sketchbook and on canvas, copper, and silk. It is my passion—my calling, if you will—and my gift to Africa."