Natural Tribute Gives a Hoot!Posted by Whole Earth | 01.26.2022
Natural Tribute Gives a Hoot!
Andrew Maxwell is an artist on a mission to inspire and connect people with nature. His drawing of an owl combines canyons and mountains, the sun and the moon, a trail and hikers, all within the bird's shape. This striking image is now available on special edition t-shirts at Whole Earth. Five dollars of the purchase price of the Owl t-shirt benefits Black Outside, a San Antonio non-profit that helps introduce and educate Black/African-American youth to the great outdoors.
Why an owl? Owls are awe inspiring birds, but there's more to the story. Harriet Tubman mimicked the sound of owls to alert freedom seekers of safe passage on the Underground Railroad. This design honors Tubman and the powerful connection to black ancestors who used the night sky, owl calls, and a deep knowledge of the natural world around them to navigate their way towards freedom.
Black Outside was founded in 2019 by Alex Bailey. He spent a year traveling around the country to observe summer camps and outdoor programs. Taking the best of what he had learned, Bailey created a community of people in San Antonio to build a program that today serves over 150 Black youth across central Texas. Black Outside is an umbrella organization that has two main programs: Camp Founder Girls and the Charles Roundtree Bloom Project.
In the summer of 2019, Black Outside proudly resurrected America's first summer overnight camp for black girls. Camp Founder Girls was created by Mrs. Mattie Landry of San Antonio in 1924. The camp was located in Boerne and became a cherished summer destination for black girls for almost 40 years. Today Camp Founder Girls carries on the proud legacy of Mrs. Landry and Founder Girls' past by providing an immersive week-long overnight camp centered on bravery, confidence, creativity, and strength.
The Charles Roundtree Bloom Project is focused on providing outdoor experiences for youth whose parents are incarcerated. The Bloom Project helps them develop healing practices by reconnecting them with nature through meditative hikes, camping, community gardening, and healing circles. The program also develops their sense of self and agency, their critical thinking skills through place-based environmental education, and helps them regain a sense of wonder for the natural world.
Natural Tribute was started by artist Andrew Maxwell. He aimed not only to have a career as an artist but to make a difference. Maxwell's studio and production facility is located southwest of Austin in the Hill Country town of Wimberley. Natural Tribute puts the environment first by using material manufacturers that are environmentally conscious in their processes and working to be a leaders in sustainable manufacturing. They also strive to source these materials from U.S. or local manufacturers.
Teaming up with non-profits that are preserving the natural world and educating people about nature, Natural Tribute t-shirts and hats give back to environmental and outdoor groups. For every Natural Tribute Owl shirt sold, $5 goes to Black Outside. For each hat sold, $3 will go to Black Outside. Whole Earth hopes you will support both Black Outside and Natural Tribute with a purchase of the Owl t-shirt or Owl hat and help to grow love and respect for the outdoors through all of our communities.