More than 120 persons attended the Art Inspires Conservation benefit hosted in his home by long-time Cheetah Conservation Fund donor Dick Sias.
Four internationally famous artists donated their work for the auction and two attended.
D. Arthur Wilson, and his wife, Lisa, also an artist, attended. D. Arthur donated 100% of his original painting “The Hunt” to CCF and a charcoal drawing of Ambassador Cheetah Misi, which he drew live for the crowd. D. Arthur, a wildlife expressionist, has raised over $2 million for conservation groups. His work raised over $15,000 for CCF at the Sias party.
Coming from London and donating an original painting was Layla Andrews. She is best known for her commissioned portraits of Nelson Mandela and Barak Obama in the USA.
Their websites are artgonewildstudios.com and laylaandrews.com.
Two other internationally-known artists, Anne E. London and Jordan Art Couture, sent their work to be auctioned. The total raised for CCF was more than $70K by far the most any OKC cheetah party has ever raised. Chairman Vicki Clark Gourley, a CCF USA Trustee, said “The generosity of host and underwriter Dick Sias, the artists, our sponsors and the skills of auctioneer Josh Phelps and his spotter T. E. Mayo made this an event to remember.”
Misi was born at Fossil Rim near Ft. Worth. Her mother abandoned her in the bushes. By the time the staff found her she was in dire straits. Her back legs were misshaped and the vets advised owners to euthanize her. The call went out to Suzi Rapp at the Columbus Zoo. She flew to Fossil Rim, put Misi in her purse and took her back to Ohio.
A long period of rehabilitation began, but Suzi and the Columbus Crew would not give up.