MICHAEL DURHAM, Oregon Zoo PhotographerUsing unconventional techniques and specially designed equipment, internationally published photographer Michael Durham explores the hidden side of nature.  So much of the web of life that connects everything is unseen by the naked eye.  Born in 1964 in Oregon, Michael started his career in commercial photography and turned to natural history and journalism.  His work has been published in books and magazines in Europe and North America, including Nature’s Best, National Wildlife, Sierra, Defenders, Nature Conservancy Magazine, BBC Wildlife and National Geographic for Kids.  Working closely with researchers, zoologists, and biologists, Michael contributes his skill with the camera and his knowledge of light and composition.  Michael quotes biologist E.O. Wilson, ‘Every kind of organism has reached this moment in time by threading one needle after another...against nearly impossible odds.’ It is my intention that my images reflect this reality..
Phillip Jones, Psychotherapist/Cosmologist and Creator of the Endangered Species Animal Wheel, the centerpiece of the Circle of Life Action Room
Dr. Thomas Hohl, Master Wood Turner and creator and Director of the Rama Exhibition Wildlife Prayer Wheels
The Rama Team
Rama is Oregon’s biggest artist and may just be the best abstract expressionist painter in the world.  The youngest son of Packy and Rosy, the Oregon Zoo’s most prestigious pachyderms, Rama was destined for fame.  Packy is famous as the first elephant ever born in North America.  In 2012, in celebration of his fiftieth birthday, Packy was knighted by the Royal Rosarians as Sir Packy!  His son, Rama was born April 1, 1983.  Rama inherited his friendly personality from Rosy.  Aside from 2-year old Samudra, Rama is the smallest of four bulls, weighing roughly 8,270 pounds.   Rama began painting as a form of enrichment and showed remarkable interest, leading to his career as a successful, well known Portland artist.  Highly intelligent, Rama quickly learned a variety of painting techniques using his trunk and brushes.  His keepers discovered his painting abilities during a routine health test for tuberculosis in 2006.   A keeper put a sterile saline solution into his trunk and asked him to hold it for a few moments and then spray it into a sterile lab container.  Rama liked the game so much that he began following keepers around, blowing air out his trunk.  After careful consideration, elephant keeper Jeb Barsh introduced nontoxic tempera paints into the tip of Rama’s trunk, and Rama’s career was off and running. It takes more than 4 tons of thrust to get this kind of powerful beauty.
Julia Fairchild, Web Weaver, and so much more for The Rama Exhibition
Calley O’Neill is a highly respected artist, muralist, visionary designer and social ecologist from the Big Island of Hawai‘i.  Journalists have described her art, which spans four decades, as ethno-visionary, dynamic, symbolic and breathtaking.  Calley finds her expression through classical glaze painting in mixed media works, public murals, stained glass and mosaic.  Her landmark Healing Gardens of Makahikilua master plan for North Hawai’i Community Hospital in Kamuela received national recognition among top landscape architects in the field of therapeutic garden design.  A great team player, Calley’s input raises the bar and sparks innovation toward healing the Earth and its inhabitants.  Journalists have described her as ‘a way-finder’, ‘a life giving force’ and ‘a force of nature.’
As one of a great team, Jeb Barsh is a highly dedicated keeper who loves his work today more than ever.  He worked in the elephant barn for years before moving in 2012 to the African Savanna Exhibit.  Creative, quick witted and passionate about saving endangered species, Jeb has worked with animals in one way or another since childhood. He is a husband and father and sees the similarities between human relations and relating to animals.  Caring is caring.  Here’s what Jeb has to say about his relationship with Rama.
Chris Moench, Master Ceramics Sculptor, and  creator of prayer wheels for The Rama Exhibition
Lamar Yoakum, Master Stained Glass Artisan and Creator of The Grotto of Hope Stained Glass Biodiversity Windows
Diane works in the Exhibits and Interpretive Design Department at the Oregon Zoo as a graphic design production assistant. She has a B.A. degree in microbiology and chemistry from Chico State University with additional education in graphic design. She loves botany and nature.   Working at the zoo has allowed Diane to learn more about animals while working with the team who crafts the structural aesthetics for the zoo.
 An International Traveling Exhibition of Endangered Species 
Dedicated to the Children of the World by Calley O'Neill with Rama the Elephant 
Artists Speaking Passionately on Behalf of Those who Cannot Speak
Paul McCormick, the Giclee Master Extraordinare!  Paul's skills are priceless and we could not present The Rama Exhibition without him.