The Timber Wolf Alliance announced it has selected the work of Diane Versteeg for its 2019 Wolf Awareness Week poster. Versteeg’s work was selected in 2004, as well.
Versteeg of Spokane, Washington, has worked as an animal keeper in zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, and animal shelters for more than forty years. She started sketching in her free time in the early 1980s and later switched to scratchboard, also called scraperboard.
The Timber Wolf Alliance selected her scratchboard of a pair of bonded wolves nuzzling one another. Versteeg says she observed the two wolves—Nehani and Ramses—at Wolf Haven International where she worked in the mid-1990s.
“Ramses was always a very shy boy—curious but kept his distance,” she said. “Nehani was very friendly and outgoing, at least to me. She always came up to visit when I did daily rounds.”
Timber Wolf Alliance Coordinator Jordyn O’Gara says she and the selection committee chose Versteeg’s work because it is different than recent Wolf Awareness Week posters.
“We’re hoping it will make people pause and look at the poster because it is so unique,” she said. “Just like with the theme—we are hoping people will pause and reassess wolf management from a non-western culture point of view.”
Each year Wolf Awareness Week celebrates a broad theme in wolf conservation. In 2019, the Timber Wolf Alliance will be celebrating ma’iingan’s (wolves) relationship with the Ojibwe as well as other Native American cultures within North America.
As a part of Wolf Awareness Week, Timber Wolf Alliance will be hosting a documentary entitled “Ma’iingan: Brother Wolf,” as well as a keynote speaker Peter David, who will discuss the history of the Ojibwe and ma’iingan. Wolf Awareness Week will be held October 20–26.