Oil spill bird artist Olivia Bouler received a special invitation from Dr. Steve Kress to visit the Project Puffin operations in Maine in 2010.
Olivia Bouler is a very special eleven year-old fifth grader with artistic talent for bird illustrations. Her passion for drawing was recently fueled by the oil spill tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico. Leaning of the wildlife tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico following the BP oil spill, she set out to make a difference through her art. The sincerity of her pledge to offer an illustration to those contributing to Audubon’s Gulf Coast response quickly caught the attention of various media outlets, social networking sites, and nature organizations—including CNN, Facebook, and the National Audubon Society.
As the popularity of her bird illustrations grew, the publicity that Olivia and her art received struck a chord in many people, perhaps if only to realize that this child, so young, was able to comprehend the severity of the impact to the environment that this oil spill had created. Olivia further realized that as young as she was, even SHE could make a difference by doing something about it and not just standing by and watching the events unfold.
In recognition of Olivia's talent, commitment and success raising funds to help Audubon with its work in the Gulf Coast, Dr. Steve Kress, Founder and Director of Audubon’s Project Puffin, extended a special invitation to Olivia and her family to visit Eastern Egg Rock to see the puffins and other seabirds that now thrive there. After all, it was his commitment that led to the founding of Project Puffinand the growth of rare seabird colonies on the Maine coast. The parallels of individuals making a difference for wildlife led to the special invitation. The Boulers graciously accepted, and Olivia, her parents, and her nearly seven year-old brother Jackson (who has also taken to drawing birds) traveled to Maine in mid-July.
While in Maine, Olivia presented Dr. Kress with a painting of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, while her brother Jackson presented him with an Atlantic Puffin painting. To support Project Puffin’s conservation efforts, Jackson's special puffin painting is currently being featured on CafePress.com, where it is available for purchase on t-shirts and other assorted merchandise. Olivia is also considering making some of her illustrations available for purchase in the near future via the Project Puffin Online Store—be sure to watch for them. To read more about Olivia's trip to visit Project Puffin in Maine, you can access her family's blog by clicking HERE and reading their account of the trip. Project Puffin salutes Olivia for her artistic talent, but more importantly for her genuine concern in raising awareness for the voiceless victims of the oil spill, and for the generous donations she is making to others as a result of proceeds from sales of her artwork, which help conservation efforts.