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Following animal tracks: artist, Wal-Mart combine to enhance environmental awareness.

The endearing artwork is the first thing that catches the viewer's eye.

The vibrant colors of the posters, which feature various animals, bring to mind a time when humans and animals existed in harmony.

But the disturbing words that accompany the artwork snap the viewer back to reality.

Susan Morrison, an artist, author and co-owner of the Morrison Woodward Gallery at Eureka Springs, is responsible for the art and the words printed on the back of each poster.

Designed to increase environmental awareness, the Animal Tracks program was commissioned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville.

Morrison is responsible for producing 11 posters, all combining animal likenesses with environmental suggestions and warnings. The posters, appropriately enough, are printed on recycled paper with biodegradable soybean inks.

The posters are distributed nationwide through Wal-Mart's almost 1,700 stores. They are free.

By the time the project is completed in August, Morrison expects 24 million of the posters to have been handed out at a cost to Wal-Mart of more than $1 million.

"Wal-Mart wanted to do something of quality, not something that would be thrown away in the parking lot," Morrison says.

Besides finishing the series, Morrison is putting together a 72-page soft-cover book combining the written information and artwork on the posters.

Morrison also is working on videos that will be shown in Wal-Mart stores and at other functions.

Tough Topics

The posters are remarkable for their detail. They can make a great horned owl and even a polar bear appear cuddly.

On the back of each poster, Morrison uses a simple but thorough approach when discussing topics such as energy conservation and recycling. The issues are spelled out in a way that can be understood by both adults and children.

"It has been the most enormous task I have ever taken on," Morrison says.

She began the project early last year.

Most of the research was done by Morrison's husband, Randy Woodward.

"He waded through all of the material and then handed me refined material that I converted into language everyone can understand," she says.

Morrison moved to Arkansas from New Orleans in 1973. She wrote and illustrated the book "River Journeys" based on travels down four northwest Arkansas rivers.

Morrison later received a grant from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to produce the book "Arkansas Wildlife." The first edition sold out in less than four months.

Morrison's next book, "The Arkansas Wilderness," combined etchings of the state's landscape with poetry.
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Title Annotation:Across Arkansas; Wal-Mart Stores Inc. commissions Susan Morrison to create posters promoting environmental awareness
Author:Taylor, Tim
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Feb 10, 1992
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