All of us at the DS Art Studio are sincerely grateful to musicians Branford Marsalis and Dr. John, writer Andrei Codrescu, and fitness guru Richard Simmons for generously autographing copies of Gator Aid for the NOLA Wetland Watchers. Celebrity endorsements like these bring well-deserved attention and funding to a worthy service learning project.
That extra attention was realized earlier this month at the Wetlands Reveillon, when the Gator Aid drawing was ‘revealed’ to the public, and prints went on sale for the first time. The response was tremendous, with record sales and thousands raised to ensure that the work of the Wetland Watchers will continue.
The Wetlands Reveillon not only marked the unveiling of the Gator Aid drawing. It was also the debut of the first official DS Art ballpoint pens. These fine writing and drawing instruments are hand-crafted from recycled cypress wood, and are only available in conjunction with the Gator Aid print series.
Ten of the new cypress DS Art pens were actually used to draw the original Gator. These pens were engraved for the occasion, and showcased in shadow-box frames with a special set of signed Artist Proof prints of the picture. The framed “Pen Proofs” were then presented to Wetland Watchers benefactors, including the Atmos, Dow, Entergy, Norco Manufacturing (Shell/Motiva), Monsanto, and Valero companies. Additional sets were presented to the Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana for his continued support of service learning, and the St. Charles Parish School District.