Preserve America: Painting for a Cause

Preserve America is a national network of creative people who are collaborating for an important cause. They want to assist historic properties in America to realize their preservation goals. Artists and writers have historically documented places and periods of time through their work. Preserve America associates hope to create greater awareness of a bygone era and raise consciousness of the importance of maintaining icons that should not be forgotten,.They also want to leave a permanent record for future generations.   
 
The goal of Preserve America is to make it possible for all historic properties ... museums, privately-owned structures, historic hotels and inns and restaurants, tourism organizations for towns and cities, and national parks to acquire increased visibility, easily obtain one-of-a-kind merchandise for their gift shops (made in the U.S.A.), and match up those who are interested with people in national preservation organizations who may be able to help them acquire funding for their preservation projects.  As a grass-roots effort, Preserve America has researched and traveled the back roads of the nation, discovering little-known hidden treasures and bringing them to the forefront. 
 
To be part of Preserve America, a  painting or drawing is made depicting the property. Once part of Preserve America, opportunities to use the services of those in the network are available at any time. Anything from the Preserve America collectible note cards and Holiday cards to ornaments, tote bags and hand-cut mahogany jigsaw puzzles can be made from the originals.  In addition to artists and writers, printing companies, marketing and communication firms, Web designers, book publishers, photographers, and others associated with Preserve America can be called upon if needed.

Artist Connection

Carol Wallace is the founder and director of Preserve America. For the past three decades, as a professional gallery artist, Carol has painted scenes that depict  Americana. Through Preserve America, Carol found a way to combine her artistic talent with her love of travel and interest in American history and culture.

Carol realized, through the popularity of modest pen and ink note card lines she had been creating from her pen and ink drawings for stationery stores and tourism organizations, that there was an intense desire for people to know the history of  certain attractions and American towns and cities so she included corresponding written histories on the back of all her cards. When she created the "Country Stores of Vermont" poster, she understood that she could call attention to endangered aspects of America and regions of the country through her creations.

Recognizing the impact the posters and cards had, Carol decided to take them to a higher level when she was offered an opportunity, in 2000, to partner with one of the nation's most historic paper companies, Crane & Company, and their printing division, Excelsior Printing Company. The three-paneled world-class 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" custom collectible note cards are a unique and novel foray into the field of stationery.

Carol's intent is to eventually blanket America and the globe with these mini-histories of America. A love for history and culture is the one thing every nation shares, and Preserve America can share the real story of America with others through these note cards. 

Carol began her eight-year journey across America in 2000 after the launch of the note cards and posters to paint and photograph scenes, write about the people and places she visited, and explore remote locales to find hidden treasures that had "a story to tell." She built up Preserve America to what it is today.

Carol's Preserve America travels have been an adventure! She has ridden along precarious cliffs high above the Animas River in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado in an antique steam train, stayed in the Sonoran Desert at one of America's last remaining dude ranches, white-water rafted down the Mendenhall River in Alaska, taken a float trip fly-fishing down the San Juan River in New Mexico, camped overnight on an island in the Maine Wilderness where only the sounds of loons and coyotes could be heard, climbed to the tops of lighthouses, explored ghost towns in Nevada and Arizona, was hoisted high above the trees in a cherry-picker so she could paint a birds-eye view of The Phoenician Resort, has gotten "her kicks on Route 66," and dined in more than a few vintage diners along the way..

Several years ago Carol began to "beat the drum" to learn if other artists would be interested in joining her in documenting America through her Preserve America project. There are now plans to involve other selected artists and she will suggest they paint places they know best ... their own regions of the country.

Once part of Preserve America, owners of historic properties today have a number of services available to them. They could have amenities and merchandise for their gift shops made from the original art images and they can utilize the services of other Preserve America associates which include writers, Web designers, marketing and communication firms, photographers, and artists. In addition, anyone needing assistance in any aspect of historic preservation can tap into Carol's network of local, state, and national preservation organizations.