Current Exhibition

Tiger, Spirit of the Forest

Tiger, Spirit of the Forest

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Lenore Rinder

August 20 - October 15, 2017

Capturing the Spirit of a Wild, Endangered Species 

New Alfons Gallery exhibit chronicles India’s race to save wild tigers from extinction

Only a few thousand wild tigers remain in existence today, and India—home to most of these big cats—is also on the forefront of efforts to save this iconic beauty.  With India’s national animal facing myriad threats, time is of the essence.

This sense of urgency is evident in Milwaukee artist Lenore Rinder’s new photography exhibition at Alfons Gallery, “Tiger, Spirit of the Forest.” The show offers a behind-the-scenes look at Rinder’s forthcoming documentary film that chronicles tiger extinction and protection.

Rinder said the film, made with an international crew, has been a labor of love four years in the making.

“While 10,000 caged tigers are being farmed for tiger wine in China, it is believed that less than 3,000 wild tigers remain in the their natural habitat,” Rinder noted. “For me as an artist, feeling helpless is not an option. My goal is to share not only the tragedy, but to celebrate the creative people and possibilities I have discovered. There might still be time to reverse some of the damage.”

The Alfons Gallery exhibit presents Rinder’s process of making her documentary about India’s attempts to honor and save their endangered tigers. The show displays photographs and text from her film’s storyboard created from the artist’s extensive historical, cultural, and ecological research.

Tiger Celebration by Lenore Rinder
"Tiger Celebration" by Lenore Rinder

“Rinder’s immersion in the Indian culture enabled her to capture photographs that reveal unique qualities about the people and their culture,” said Valerie J. Christell, Alfons Gallery’s Director and Curator. “Her documentary provides valuable insight into India’s efforts to shift from a culture of killing tigers to honoring them.” A trailer for the film will run throughout the exhibit.

Rinder is a Chicago native who received her B.F.A. from Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, and her M.F.A. in painting and film making from UW-Milwaukee. She calls Milwaukee home, but has spent much of the past six years traveling to Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and India.

While her travels started as an eco-tourist safari, her visit to India sparked her “new video mission,” she said. “The video features interviews with my contacts in the fields of conservation: naturalists, entrepreneurs and educators who are making heroic efforts to save these seriously endangered animals.”

She was also captivated by the spiritual side to her project. “The Indian people’s reverence for animals goes back to prehistoric times, and is very much intact today,” she said. “Ancient religions are practiced by tribes, and India is also the birthplace of many nature-centered major religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism, presenting celebrations almost every day.”

This presents endless subject matter for an artist like Rinder. “The parades and festivals are amazing eye candy, and include a pantheon of fantastic animal avatars and gods,” she said.

“Tiger, Spirit of the Forest” is on view at Alfons Gallery from August 20 through October 15, 2017.

Rinder with two pictures Artist Talk



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Wednesday, Thursday,
Friday and Sunday:
12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Alfons Gallery
1501 S. Layton Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53215

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