Amazon Aid Foundation

RATIO is proud to announce that this year, 15% of the profits from our visual vibes captured in Peru will go to Amazon Aid Foundation (AAF).

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Based out of Charlottesville, Virginia, Amazon Aid Foundation works to educate and empower people to protect the Amazon through art, science, and multimedia. Their goal is to preserve the rainforest for the health of the planet and for future generations to enjoy.

15% of the profits from our visual vibes captured in Peru will go to Amazon Aid Foundation.

Amazon Aid Foundation’s use of education as a tool in bettering the world for all people compliments RATIO’s own commitment of working with charitable organizations focused on either education or human rights. Furthermore, AAF’s use of art as a method of educating complements the pillars that RATIO was founded upon: art, education and travel.

AAF’s use of art as a method of educating complements the pillars that RATIO was founded upon: art, education and travel.

We were able to interview Celia Castleman at AAF about how she and others are working within their organization to protect the Amazon rainforest through the use of art, science and multimedia. When you purchase a RATIO visual vibe captured in Peru, you are supporting AAF’s goal to preserve our planet.

Photograph by Rochi León courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

Photograph by Rochi León courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

  • What would you consider the most important part of your work with The Amazon Foundation?

The most important part of my work is sharing vital information about the Amazon Rainforest. Most people don’t know (or think) about the Rainforest and have no idea that it has an impact on our climate. Because human activity is continuing to endanger and destroy the Amazon, our entire planet is suffering.

Photograph by Rochi León courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

Photograph by Rochi León courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

  • Why is your work with the Rainforest a human rights issue?

Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) is an unregulated and illegal $3 Billion/ year industry in Peru. It is the largest emitter of mercury poisoning on the planet with over 100 tons of the toxic chemical released into the Amazonia atmosphere annually. Last year, the Peruvian government declared a two-month state of emergency due to the widespread contamination. Mercury is a neurotoxin that affects the nervous, immune and digestive systems. Studies showed some 50,000 people were exposed to the poison.

Artwork by Julia Loman courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

Artwork by Julia Loman courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

  • Why is education so important to your work?

Everyone needs to understand what is at stake in order to start caring and investing in solutions. Oftentimes, important research is dense and inaccessible. When we engage our audience (particularly) youth, we activate a coalition of rainforest guardians. By using multimedia platforms that are beautiful and engaging, we can succinctly drive home the simple message: The Amazon is in danger. Human activity is the cause of its destruction. Let’s protect and rebuild for the future of our planet.

Photograph by Ron Haviv courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

Photograph by Ron Haviv courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

  • What are some futures goals you have for The Amazon Aid Foundation?

One of our biggest goals is to create an awareness campaign around unregulated gold mining and educate consumers about where their gold comes. The ultimate goal is that companies will feel pressure from consumers to be transparent around their gold sourcing and only use “clean”/ mercury-free gold.  Gold is not just used for jewelry but for almost all of our household electronics from cell phones to computers and much more.

Artwork by Holly Zajur courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

Artwork by Holly Zajur courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

  • What are some of greatest successes Amazon Aid has accomplished so far?

AAF has helped influence governments to sign the Minamata Treaty. This global treaty is for the protection of the environment and human health from the adverse effects of mercury. The impact of our work has resulted in governmental policy changes to protect the Madre de Dior region of the Amazon.

Photograph by Dano Grayson courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

Photograph by Dano Grayson courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

  • What is your proudest accomplishment as an organization?

I’m most proud of the fact that as small as an organization Amazon Aid is, we have had a mighty reach. From a small town in Virginia, Amazon Aid has a global audience and continues to build awareness around the protection of the Amazon. This is one of the rare global issues that actually has a solution: Protect the rainforest from further destruction and reforest. I’m also most proud of our youngest audience. We have lots of little ones that really care and they support our efforts!

Photograph by Raechel Running courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

Photograph by Raechel Running courtesy of Amazon Aid Foundation.

To learn more about all the good AAF is doing visit AmazonAid.org, @AmazonAid on Instagram, @AmazonAid on Facebook, and @AmazonAidF on Twitter.

This visual vibe "Not Stuck in the Mud" was captured in Peru, and has traveled with Clara Stiefel from San Antonio to Colorado, Spain, and now Germany.

It's the perfect size to toss in your carry-on en route to wherever your journey takes you.

#RATIOgivesback

Art as Wedding Decor

Add color to your wedding day with visual vibes that not only look beautiful as unique wedding decor, but also as heirlooms displayed in your home long after the festivities.

I hope you have a great marriage
— The Bride's Younger Sister

The backs of RATIO’s 5x7 visual vibes serve as the perfect place to record sentiments about the big day. You’ll not only be commemorating the moment to revisit yourself, but you’ll also be preserving a piece of family history that will be passed down as an heirloom to loved ones through the generations.

I will always be here if you ever need me. I do love you to the moon and back.
— Mother of the Bride

In the past we’ve shared ideas on how to personalize your visual vibe with a favorite memory, poem, recipe, anniversary note, well wishes or words of gratitude. Last month, four RATIO visual vibes traveled to The Ozark Mountains to decorate the cake and guestbook tables of at wedding, in lieu of decorating with a traditional cake-topper.

Three of the visual vibes featured a photograph of the moon taken in Oaxaca, Mexico. As a custom piece we added the phrase “I Love You to the Moon and Back” to fit with the groom’s space-themed cupcakes.

The bride’s mother and sisters each recorded a personal message for the newlyweds on the back the three “I Love You to the Moon and Back” visual vibes that were placed throughout the wedding venue.

It’s your wedding day,
It’s your wedding day,
I wish I knew the lyrics,
To it’s your wedding day
— The Bride's Older Sister

The older sister of the bride took a lighthearted approach by writing lyrics from a song unexpectedly sang by the pianist at her own wedding as the guests in the pews did their best not to laugh.

The fourth visual vibe, “Get Lost,” was chosen by the bride to match the venue’s wildflowers, and now preserves an affectionate note written for her by the groom.

Check out the vibrant detail of "Get Lost" on our hand-designed greeting card.

Check out the vibrant detail of "Get Lost" on our hand-designed greeting card.

RATIO’s 5x7 visual vibes are a unique way to brighten a wedding day and newlyweds’ home for years to come. As a bonus that memory is also tied to the gift of giving back as 15% of the profit is donated to a charity within the photograph’s country of origin.

We like to think of it as the gift of love that keeps on loving.

Check out this visual vibe that would also make a perfect wedding gift or wedding decor.

Fundación Casa Alianza México

RATIO is a social enterprise that gives back by supporting the communities where our images were captured. We are proud to announce that this year 15% of the profits from our visual vibes captured in Mexico will go to Casa Alianza Mexico.

Their mission to protect and care for children and adolescents in situations of social abandonment, until they are ready to reintegrate into society in a self-sufficient and functional way, aligns with RATIO’s own mission to support education and human rights.

We partner with non-profits that focus on either education or human rights because no matter where in the community a photograph was taken, education and human rights are fundamental to developing the greater good of our global community.

Since 1988 Casa Alianza Mexico has provided care and protection for boys and girls who have experienced extraordinary trauma, including abuse, neglect, violence, abandonment, addiction to harmful substances, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. The rising tide of violence and instability in Mexico over the recent years has made their work even more urgent as has the ongoing influx of unaccompanied migrant children from Central America into Mexico.

Programs at Casa Alianza Mexico include small homes in distinct locations in Mexico City that house up to 132 children and teens per night and a separate home for up to 30 teen moms and their babies. They also have a fully developed family reintegration and Independent Life Program that prepares youth for life after Casa Alianza.

Thus 15% of each purchase of a RATIO visual vibe taken in Mexico goes to Casa Alianza Mexico to support their residential care facilities, vocational training program, as well as their toll-free 24/7 youth counseling hotline Acercatel and advocacy programs.

To learn more about all the good they are doing visit CovenantHouse.org for more information (in English), or visit their website at Casa-AlianzaMexico.org and on Facebook @FundacionCasaAlianza (in Spanish).

#RATIOgivesback

@sarahecooperr

Meet the creator of our newest RATIO tees, graphic designer and lover of everything colorful Sarah Cooper. Her eye for visuals that pop shines loud and clear in her design for the “Love Your Messy Life” shirts. The collaboration was an exciting opportunity for RATIO as we continue bring to bring partner photographers, artists and designers onto our platform and global community.

Sarah Cooper

Sarah Cooper

A little about Sarah:

“I was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas and moved to San Antonio in 2010 to pursue degrees in communication and art at Trinity University. Art, particularly photography and painting, has always been a huge part of my life, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into what I do for a living once I started college. I took watercolor classes every week for 13 years, and I’ve been doing photography for 6. Both experiences lead me to a graphic design career, and I couldn’t be happier with the fact that I get to create daily. I currently work full time as an in-house designer for a company here in San Antonio, and I spend my free time doing freelance graphic design, photography, and illustration.”

Her current projects:

“I’m currently working on a photographic series that uses a minimal, colorful, and quirky/whimsical aesthetic to create a visual diary of sorts. I started this series my senior year of college because I am very much in love with the idea of memory, but it used to be done in small watercolor illustrations. A little over a year ago, I translated the same idea into photography and began to document it on instagram. I use my instagram as a visual journal, and post one image a day that presents an image relating to a memory, thought, or random inspiration from that particular day. The subject matter can range from anything really ordinary like a shake I had that day to something random like toys on toast - all while keeping the same aesthetic. I create these photographs to give viewers a look at how I see the world.”

The inspiration behind the new tees’ design:

“This design was a collaboration between [RATIO Founder]  Morgan and me. She wanted to create something with the phrase “Love Your Messy Life,” and she let me run with the design. Going off of the phrase, I wanted to incorporate the aesthetic of RATIO with my own style, so I made a messy tangle of hair like shapes (my “signature” pattern design that I use in all of my personal branding) mixed with natural elements like vines and flowers. We colored in the flowers using photographs of natural elements from around the world that Morgan and I took.”

RATIO apparel

Th travel experiences that Sarah is bringing to RATIO’s global community:

“Quite honestly, and unfortunately, I haven’t traveled that many places outside of my state before. I’m beginning to slowly check other states off of my list, but I have a long bucket list of places I can’t wait to explore. If I had to choose one of the places I’ve traveled, I’d pick Seattle as a favorite. It was so different from the landscape, weather, and city culture that I’m used to here in San Antonio, and I absolutely loved it. My ultimate dream destinations are New Zealand and pretty much all of Europe."

Sarah's photo taken in Seattle.

Sarah's photo taken in Seattle.

Sarah’s thoughts on traveling somewhere new for the first time:

"I always have an overwhelming sense of excitement, and I need to explore as much as I can. Taking photos is always one of my main activities when I travel; I need to document as much as I can so I can share my memories and experiences with others and look back on them in the future."

Follow Sarah on Instagram @SaraheCooperr or visit her website sarahecooper.com for more of her work. The fun colors and whimsical themes are going to leave you feeling positive and proud about your beautiful messy life.

 

55th Annual Starving Artist Art Show

RATIO is excited to once again participate in San Antonio’s Starving Artist Art Show in La Villita Historic Arts Village. Situated alongside the famous San Antonio river, the 55th Annual Starving Artist Art Show will again be feeding the hungry through art.

The show is an obvious fit for RATIO’s mission of giving back through our art-based social enterprise. Ten percent of all sales at the show go towards a food pantry run by “The Little Church of La Villita”. The church has been providing meals and assistance to the Alamo City community for over 50 years, with a significant source of that aid being made possible by the annual art show’s revenue.

As always, a portion of the profit from RATIO’s travel photography will be given back to a charitable organization within the country each image was captured.

Spanish for “little village,” La Villita was home to one of San Antonio’s first neighborhoods over two centuries ago. Touching on all of RATIO’s three pillars of art, travel and education, La Villita Historic Arts Village also serves as “center for teaching regional arts and crafts.”  

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While the show is an ideal time to support local San Antonio artists, participants travel from all over the country to take part in the annual event.

This year RATIO will carry a wide range of visual vibes at the show, from our new greeting cards to our larger pieces printed on sustainable birch wood and canvas. We will also have some items you can only get at our pop-ups such as large engineer prints and apparel.

 

It’s a great opportunity to see our visual vibes in person, while supporting good causes and spending time in one of San Antonio’s most picturesque historic districts.

April 1st & 2nd 2017 - 10 am - 6 pm
Find RATIO at Booth #122
La Villita Historic Arts Village
418 Villita St, San Antonio, Texas 78205

Get more details + directions here.

Hannah Lynn

Hannah Lynn