Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A Protest Sculpture depicting the Defenders against fracked gas pipeline projects.
A Protest Sculpture depicting the Defenders against fracked gas pipeline projects.
A Protest Sculpture depicting the Defenders against fracked gas pipeline projects.
46 backers pledged $4,428 to help bring this project to life.

About

The Defenders project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$4,428

46

TAKE A STAND, MAKE A STATEMENT: CREATE ART THAT SPEAKS TRUTH

Please donate toward the construction and placement of an 8 ft. tall by 8 ft. wide inspirational work of art. Sculpted in steel, it will oppose and call attention to the needless swath of destruction and downstream consequences of fracked gas pipelines.

Photo of destruction along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's path, with trees chopped down directly on a Nature Trail in Augusta County, Virginia.
Photo of destruction along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's path, with trees chopped down directly on a Nature Trail in Augusta County, Virginia.

The Defenders will be a protest sculpture to honor all those engaged in the fight against proposed pipeline projects that threaten people and planet. While it will represent anti-pipeline resistance around the world, The Defenders speaks most strongly against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) facing our region. Once created, it will initially be installed closest to home in public venues along the ACP's proposed route.  

Our beautiful home, threatened by fossil-fuel driven destruction.
Our beautiful home, threatened by fossil-fuel driven destruction.

We have many ways to speak when our precious world is imperiled. We speak to stop the destruction and to alert other people to join us in protecting all that is sacred. 

Sculptors Mark Schwenk and Cheryl Langlais are ready to make that strong statement with a large metal installation that will embody the destruction of fossil fuel extraction and the strength of the people to prevent this from happening. 

Cathy Strickler, who originally conceived this project, and sculptor Mark Schwenk discuss The Defenders design.
Cathy Strickler, who originally conceived this project, and sculptor Mark Schwenk discuss The Defenders design.

With the help of a volunteer organization, the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV), we are raising funds to pay for the material and labor to construct this sculpture. CAAV is a ten year old grassroots group, based in Harrisonburg, VA in the Shenandoah Valley, that has been working to educate and advocate for climate change action. 

CAAV marching through the streets of Harrisonburg, VA in 2016
CAAV marching through the streets of Harrisonburg, VA in 2016

Mark and Cheryl will make no profit and have already donated hours of time. Their hearts are with us. 

Landowners on the ACP's proposed path, in Bath, Augusta and Nelson counties, are donating land, time and labor to site this sculpture in places of honor. Activists in Buckingham county are working to confirm a site there, and we hope to secure sites with landowners along the MVP's path as well. Their hearts are with us, too.

A confirmed site at Nelson Co.'s Rockfish Valley Foundation Natural History Center
A confirmed site at Nelson Co.'s Rockfish Valley Foundation Natural History Center

CAAV is donating organizational skills, time and money. Their hearts have been there forever. 

We are asking you to add your voice to this project. We need $4,000 to buy the 1/8” steel and pay an assistant. Additional money raised will help cover insurance, transportation and publicity costs. Once Mark and Cheryl have the money to start, it will take 3-4 weeks to complete and be ready to be delivered to its first site.

Mock-up of a public Installation of The Defenders once completed.
Mock-up of a public Installation of The Defenders once completed.

We will amplify this statement of outrage and resistance with as much exposure and attention as is possible. We hope this speaks to you and moves you to contribute to its creation. We also welcome suggestions of additional sites for the sculpture. The sculpture is designed to be disassembled in order to be moved. This allows it to serve as a mobile focus for media, photos and events at different locations.  

Scale model of The Defenders, created by Mark Schwenk.
Scale model of The Defenders, created by Mark Schwenk.

The Defenders protest sculpture will include the following features to depict the fight against dangerous and destructive fossil fuel infrastructure: 

  • A snaking pipeline with gas spewing out of its mouth
  • A line of Defenders - people on the front-lines of this fight, putting their lives and bodies on the line, with hands up in defense against the encroaching pipeline
  •  A stream representing the many water sources threatened by pipeline projects
  • A line of forested mountains depicting these integral features of the Shenandoah Valley and Appalachia, where many pipeline routes aim to cross
  • A massive tree takes center stage, and atop it, a Great Gray Owl with a watchful eye on this scene unfolding. 
Great Gray Owl (Photo credit: Jim Block)
Great Gray Owl (Photo credit: Jim Block)

We have adopted the Great Gray Owl as an emblem of our effort to defend our endangered air, water, forests, mountains and the homes of all living creatures. One of the world's largest owl species, the Great Gray Owl is also at risk as its habitat is destroyed. He warns us from above that we destroy Mother Earth at our own peril. 

Carrying the Great Gray Owl through this special role, we have designed an array of rewards inspired by its haunting image for our donors who contribute $25 or more. 

Some of the rewards for our contributors including: Great Gray Owl Greeting Cards, 8x10" Great Gray Owl Print, and Great Gray Owl Sculpture in Steel with Rust Finish
Some of the rewards for our contributors including: Great Gray Owl Greeting Cards, 8x10" Great Gray Owl Print, and Great Gray Owl Sculpture in Steel with Rust Finish

Special thanks to Karen Ryder Lee, who has not only been an incredibly energetic member of The Defenders team... she is also the talented artist who painted the Great Gray Owl on which our greeting cards and prints are based. (Mark Schwenk is the artist behind our owl sculptures). 

Karen Ryder Lee, Great Gray Owl artist and The Defenders team member.
Karen Ryder Lee, Great Gray Owl artist and The Defenders team member.

Great Gray Owl Greeting Cards: (3-pack, 6-pack or 12-pack) 

Great Gray Owl Greeting cards to send well-wishes to loved ones or share this project with friends and neighbors!
Great Gray Owl Greeting cards to send well-wishes to loved ones or share this project with friends and neighbors!

Great Gray Owl Prints: (8x10")- shrink-wrapped & protected with foam core backing  

8x10" print by Karen Lee (Left: Print as it will be delivered; Right: Framed as example)
8x10" print by Karen Lee (Left: Print as it will be delivered; Right: Framed as example)

Great Gray Owl Sculpture: 13.5" or 17.5" - Steel with Rust Finish 

Mark Schwenk displaying his Owl Sculptures. He will create as many as we have contributors at the $500+ level!
Mark Schwenk displaying his Owl Sculptures. He will create as many as we have contributors at the $500+ level!

Thank you so much for considering and hopefully donating! We appreciate your essential support in making this silent, strong testimony a reality. 

- The Defenders dedicated team

(Left to Right): Ana Rampy (CAAV Intern), Jo Anne St. Clair (CAAV Steering Committee), Cathy Strickler (Founder & CAAV Steering Committee), Rosie Lynch (CAAV Steering Committee) Not pictured: Karen Ryder Lee, featured above
(Left to Right): Ana Rampy (CAAV Intern), Jo Anne St. Clair (CAAV Steering Committee), Cathy Strickler (Founder & CAAV Steering Committee), Rosie Lynch (CAAV Steering Committee) Not pictured: Karen Ryder Lee, featured above

Risks and challenges

We recognize that these proposed pipeline projects are controversial issues and The Defenders may engender a negative response people who support their construction.

We are wholly committed to non-violent resistance, and we hope that our protest sculpture does not suffer damage. However, we plan to document The Defenders' sacrifice far and wide if it were to come into harm's way.

We will also insure the sculpture owner against any potential law suits for personal injuries relative to the sculpture.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Supporter

    You will receive THREE Great Gray Owl Greeting Cards. These feature prints of the Great Gray Owl painting by artist Karen Ryder Lee on the front, with an explanation of the project and meaning of the Great Gray Owl symbol on the back. The inside is blank for you to craft your own message to loved ones. (We hope you will use some to spread the word about our campaign!)

    Includes:
    • Great Gray Owl Greeting Card - 3 pack
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    16 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Believer

    You will receive SIX Great Gray Owl Greeting Cards (x2 3-packs). These feature prints of the Great Gray Owl painting by artist Karen Ryder Lee on the front, with an explanation of the project and meaning of the Great Gray Owl symbol on the back. The inside is blank for you to craft your own message to loved ones. (We hope you will use some to spread the word about our campaign!)

    Includes:
    • Great Gray Owl Greeting Card - 3 pack
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Protester

    You will receive A DOZEN Great Gray Owl Greeting Cards. These feature prints of the Great Gray Owl painting by artist Karen Ryder Lee on the front, with an explanation of the project and meaning of the Great Gray Owl symbol on the back. The inside is blank for you to craft your own message to loved ones. (We hope you will use some to spread the word about our campaign!)

    Includes:
    • Great Gray Owl Greeting Card - 12 pack
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Neighbor

    You will receive a limited edition 8x10" print of the Great Gray Owl painting by Karen Ryder Lee. Only 50 prints will be distributed, and your print will be signed and numbered by the artist. It will arrive shrink-wrapped with foam-core backing for protection.

    You will also receive THREE Great Gray Owl Greeting Cards. These feature prints of the Great Gray Owl painting by artist Karen Ryder Lee on the front, with an explanation of the project and meaning of the Great Gray Owl symbol on the back. The inside is blank for you to craft your own message to loved ones. (We hope you will use some to spread the word about our campaign!)

    Includes:
    • Great Gray Owl 8x10" Print
    • Great Gray Owl Greeting Card - 3 pack
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Partner

    You will receive a 13.5" tall Great Gray Owl sculpture to display in your home or garden. The sculpture is made by artist Mark Schwenk out of 1/8" steel with a rust finish. You can hang the sculpture as is, or you can request Mark to make a garden stake to attach to its talons.

    You will also receive THREE Great Gray Owl Greeting Cards. These feature prints of the Great Gray Owl painting by artist Karen Ryder Lee on the front, with an explanation of the project and meaning of the Great Gray Owl symbol on the back. The inside is blank for you to craft your own message to loved ones. (We hope you will use some to spread the word about our campaign!)

    Includes:
    • Great Gray Owl Steel Sculpture - 13.5" tall
    • Great Gray Owl Greeting Card - 3 pack
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Protector

    You will receive a 13.5" tall Great Gray Owl sculpture to display in your home or garden. The sculpture is made by artist Mark Schwenk out of 1/8" steel with a rust finish. You can hang the sculpture as is, or you can request Mark to make a garden stake to attach to its talons.

    You will also receive a limited edition 8x10" print of the Great Gray Owl painting by Karen Ryder Lee. Only 50 prints will be distributed, and your print will be signed and numbered by the artist. It will arrive shrink-wrapped with foam-core backing for protection.

    Includes:
    • Great Gray Owl Steel Sculpture - 13.5" tall
    • Great Gray Owl 8x10" Print
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Defender

    You will receive the larger 17.5" tall Great Gray Owl sculpture to display in your home or garden. The sculpture is made by artist Mark Schwenk out of 1/8" steel with a rust finish. You can hang the sculpture as is, or you can request Mark to make a garden stake to attach to its talons.

    You will also receive a limited edition 8x10" print of the Great Gray Owl painting by Karen Ryder Lee. Only 50 prints will be distributed, and your print will be signed and numbered by the artist. It will arrive shrink-wrapped with foam-core backing for protection.

    Includes:
    • Great Gray Owl Steel Sculpture - 17.5" tall
    • Great Gray Owl 8x10" Print
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)