Take a good look at this photo – chances are it will be your last glimpse of the most precious animal on earth, unless you visit Astor Place this March.
The world’s favourite rhino is facing his final days. His name is Sudan, and he’s the planet’s last male Northern White Rhino. Soon, his species could be gone forever...but internationally renowned artists are determined to make sure his plight won’t be in vain. Husband-and-wife artistic duo – Gillie and Marc – have teamed up with NYC DOT Art, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Nat Geo WILD, INDE, Intrepid Travel, The Thomas Collective, and many other incredible organizations on a ground-breaking initiative to bring the world’s tallest rhino sculpture to Astor Place, New York City. Made of the same material as fingernails, rhino horns are worth more than gold. Driven by a false belief in their medicinal benefits, poaching has condemned Northern White Rhinos to the brink of extinction. Only Sudan, his daughter Najiin, and granddaughter Fatu are left. The last three. One year ago, Gillie and Marc travelled to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya to visit the Northern White Rhinos. It was an experience that shook them to the core, and the artists returned home vowing to dedicate the rest of their lives to protecting rhinos from extinction in the best way they know how – their art! The Last Three is a physical representation of the cause, that will inspire generations and celebrate those who create positive changes in wildlife conservation. This revolutionary project would not have been possible without the dedicated involvement of the inspirational organizations that have sponsored the artwork’s creation, spread the word about the rhinos, and offered to host the sculpture (as Astor Place has done). The Northern White Rhinos are under the highest quality care in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya where they are protected with 24/7 security. However, due to a low sperm count and aging bodies, the rhinos can’t breed naturally. Sudan is already 44-years-old, just one year away from the maximum life expectancy of a rhino. Scientists are attempting an IVF program, in the hopes there will be a last-chance to save the species. This is the first time this procedure has ever been done for rhinos, and it’s incredibly complicated. However, groups of people across the globe are doing the best they can to save the species! If the IVF program is unsuccessful and it turns out to be too late for the Northern White Rhinos, there is still hope for other species! Gillie and Marc have recreated Sudan, Najin, and Fatu in the world’s tallest bronze rhino sculpture called The Last Three. The 17-foot sculpture will be installed in Astor Place, New York City on the 15th of March, 2018 to inspire, educate, and mobilize the global community to raise their voices and affect real change against rhino horn sales. Everyone is invited to get up close and say their goodbyes. Nat Geo WILD is supporting promotional efforts behind the sculpture’s creation and launch, and INDE is bringing the artwork to life with Augmented Reality technology! Intrepid is creating a special trip to Africa, offering the chance to meet and help endangered rhinos. This is by far the biggest and most daunting project the award-winning monumental sculpture artists have ever undertaken, but they vowed to create a legacy of the Northern White Rhinos before history repeats itself. “We’re determined to complete the sculpture of The Last Three during Sudan’s lifetime so that people have a chance to say goodbye before it’s too late. In his old age, time is running out very quickly,” says Marc. “We’re working around the clock to make this happen. In urban environments, it’s easy for humans to forget our impact on the world. Marc and I believe it’s never been more critical to connect people to nature, so that we’re visibly confronted with what we’re doing to the planet,” adds Gillie, “That’s why it’s so important to bring the Northern White Rhinos to New York.” Gillie and Marc’s sculpture will be used to raise critical awareness about the plight of the rhinos and ways people can help. “Our mission is to collect at least 1-million goodbye messages and put them towards a petition for approaching governments about eliminating the demand for rhino horns through education” says Gillie, “You can help by leaving a goodbye message for Sudan before he’s gone forever.” The artists also hope the sculpture will inspire more donations for Ol Pejeta Conservancy, so they can protect the Northern White Rhinos and fund the IVF program. They have created a dedicated donations page on the project website, so that people can do their part in helping Sudan, Najin and Fatu. It is suspected that over 5-million people from around the world will come to visit The Last Three in Astor Place. Let’s not let these magnificent lives end in vain. Head to www.goodbyerhinos.org to write your message for the Northern White Rhinos, make a donation, or share a photo with the hashtag #goodbyerhinos. SCULPTURE UNVEILING WHERE: Astor Place, New York City DATE: March 15, 2018 TIME: 9:00am EST DETAILS: Everyone welcome For high-res photos and interview bookings, contact Lauren Pelosi email@example.comABOUT GILLIE AND MARC Gillie and Marc, referred to by the media as “the world’s most loving artists,” are extraordinary public artists who have worked side-by-side for over 25-years to create art as one. Their monumental bronze sculptures spread the message of love and conservation in major galleries and cities around the world, including New York, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney and more! In 2016, the eco-warriors created the largest rhino sculpture on earth for Sculptures by the Sea, winning Australia’s coveted Allen’s People’s Choice and Kid’s Choice Awards. This year, Gillie and Marc are setting out to beat their own record in the heart of New York City to continue spreading awareness about conservation through their art. The artists are best known for their beloved hybrid characters – Rabbitwoman and Dogman – who tell the autobiographical tale of two opposites coming together to become best friends and soulmates. Their art has raised hundreds of thousands in donations for the many wildlife charities and causes they support. For more information, visit www.gillieandmarc.comABOUT OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the largest black rhino sanctuary in east Africa, and home to the last three Northern White Rhinos on Earth. It is a sanctuary established to rehabilitate animals rescued from the black market, and the only place in Kenya to see chimpanzees. It has some of the highest predator densities in Kenya, and still manages a very successful livestock program. Ol Pejeta also seeks to support the people living around its borders, to ensue wildlife conservation translates to better education, healthcare and infrastructure for the next generation of wildlife guardians. The incredible work conducted by Ol Pejeta Conservancy would not be possible without generous donations from individuals and organizations around the world. Gillie and Marc are unveiling The Last Three sculpture to raise awareness about the plight of the rhinos, and critical funds needed to protect them. Your help is desperately needed – between 24/7 security and high medical bills, it’s extremely expensive keeping Sudan, Najin, and Fatu alive. Ol Pejeta Conservancy will be setting up a special page on their website dedicated solely to the Northern White Rhinos so that people can donate and support their efforts - www.olpejetaconservancy.orgThere will also be a donation page on www.goodbyerhinos.org directing visitors to the sanctuary, so they can help Sudan, Najin and Fatu live out their final days in peace. ABOUT NYC DOT ART Launched in 2008, the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program invigorates the City’s streetscapes with engaging temporary art installations. The Program partners with community-based organizations and artists to present murals, sculptures, projections and performances on plazas, fences, barriers, bridges, step streets and sidewalks for up to 11 months. Projects are presented within four program tracks: Arterventions, Barrier Beautification, Community Commissions and Art Display Case Exhibits. For more information, visitwww.nyc.gov/dotartABOUT INTREPID TRAVEL Run by travellers, for travellers, Intrepid Travel is the global leader in delivering sustainable experience-rich travel, carrying over 250,000 passengers a year. Their brands offer over 1,000 itineraries on every continent, catering for all ages, budgets and appetites for adventure. One of the best ways to help the Northern White Rhinos is to see them in Kenya. This brings money to the local area, helping communities gain an appreciation for the value of rhinos and other wildlife. It also helps visitors learn about rhinos first-hand and ways of protecting them. As an official sponsor of The Last Three, Intrepid Travel is designing a special trip in honour of Sudan, Najin and Fatu, so that people can travel to Kenya and visit Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The enriching adventure itinerary being offered by Intrepid Travel will be instrumental in raising awareness and funds for the Northern White Rhinos, while at the same time providing travelers the experience of a lifetime! For more information, visit www.intrepidgroup.travelABOUT NAT GEO WILD Nat Geo WILD is an incredible sponsor of The Last Three project by Gillie and Marc! Nat Geo WILD is the only network 100% dedicated to animals and the people who love them. As a part of National Geographic, the world’s premium destination for science, adventure and exploration, the network is thrilled to be the main sponsor for The Last Three. For over 129 years, Nat Geo has used the power of storytelling to change the world, and Nat Geo WILD is excited to join forces to raise awareness for this important cause. For more information, visit channel.nationalgeographic.com/wild/ABOUT INDE INDE, one of the world’s top Augmented Reality companies, develops award-winning interactive and immersive products and experiences in entertainment, education, and advertising. They have teamed up with Gillie and Marc to help save rhinos by bringing The Last Three to life in the streets of New York City! INDE’s unique form of “digital resurrection” with their MobileAR platform has long been used in the conservation of animals through schools, museums, zoos and more. The company is excited to carry this forward by playing an important role in the fate of the last three Northern White Rhinos. Alongside the incredible work of Gillie and Marc, INDE’s development will help raise awareness in a captivating way about the alarming issue of this species permanently disappearing from earth. The AR application, featuring photo-realistic 3D version of the rhinos, will allow the world to intimately see the last three Northern White Rhinos for themselves! Those who are unable to visit them at Ol Pejeta in Kenya will still be able to say goodbye through the technology INDE’s created! For more information, visit www.indestry.comABOUT THE THOMAS COLLECTIVE The Thomas Collective is a full-service marketing communications firm headquartered in New York, with core capabilities in brand development, public relations and digital/social media. They are an independent agency, and diverse-certified by WBENC. Through their expertise, the Thomas Collective has been instrumental in critically spreading the word about the launch of The Last Three, and with that awareness about rhino conservation. They have generously partnered with Gillie and Marc to plan an exciting unveiling that will make headlines worldwide. For more information, visit www.thethomascollective.comABOUT ASTOR PLACE Astor Place is a new town square where East and West Villages convene, the thriving focal point of a young, vibrant and artistic community of residents, businesses, cultural organizations, students and all who visit New York City. Astor Place is managed and maintained by the Village Alliance, a community-based, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to create a cleaner, safer, greener, attractive and enjoyable Greenwich Village neighbourhood. By hosting The Last Three sculpture, Astor Place will showcase the spirit of the neighborhood and be instrumental in making history for rhino conservation.For more information, visit www.astorplace.nyc or @astorplacenyc