Laura J Shape holding python vessel

I make art using leather made from invasive animal species, like Burmese Python from the Florida Everglades, Lionfish from the Atlantic and Caribbean, and Copi (Asian carp) from the Mississippi River. Using age-old techniques, I create art with a focus on helping to protect native species and revive ecosystems around the world.

Through my work, I aim to call attention to an urgent problem. Humans have accidentally introduced animals from parts of the world where they’re naturally kept in check to areas where they have no natural enemies. These animals dominate their new environments, destroy the native wildlife populations, and threaten the entire ecosystem. Unfortunately, to fix this problem, thousands of them must be killed. I work with their skins to help support this vital initiative, and in the hope of creating something beautiful from such an ugly situation. Each skin I use helps protect hundreds of different types of native mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and coral reefs, as well as the livelihoods of the millions of people who depend on them.

I am passionate about this cause because together, we can solve this problem. Join me in stopping these invasive animals from causing further destruction, and helping to save our beautiful and diverse planet.

My past work has been featured in Latina magazine, 5280, and Colorado Expression Magazine.