Welcome to The Rare Beasts Project

A Bestiary of Rare and Endangered Farm Animals
All Hail Caesar (Belier Border Leicester ram) 8x10 collage

All Hail Caesar (Bélier Border-Leicester ram) 8×10 collage


This art project by collage artist Alyson Champ will consist of a series of twenty painted paper collages for public exhibition in the Vallée-du-Haut-Saint-Laurent region.  Each collage will depict a rare or endangered breed of farm animal chosen from  The Canadian Livestock Conservation List . As the exhibition title suggests, this series of collages will be a modern interpretation of the medieval concept of a bestiary. Each collage will measure approximately twenty-four by thirty inches and will consist of a portrait of an animal. The animal’s endangered status, origins, and characteristics will be explained by an accompanying text.

The second step of this project will be the realization of an actual bestiary, which is to say the creation of a commercially printed book containing all the collages and accompanying texts created for this project.  Copies of the book will  be available for purchase through this website.

The creation of the collages and the publication of the book will be realized over an eighteen month period, beginning in February of 2016 and ending in July of 2017.

The aim of this project is twofold:

First,  to create a cultural experience which is relevant to the community of Haut-St-Laurent in which the artwork will be exhibited.

Secondly, that this series of collages will sensitize the public to an important agricultural issue.  When we think of endangered species, we think of snow leopards or exotic birds.  We never imagine that this status could apply to farm animals. “Rare Beasts” aims to stimulate a discussion about what happens if these animals vanish. What will the broader social, cultural, and environmental implications be?

Rare Beasts has been made possible through the generous support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and the Conference regionale des élus (CRE), along with assistance from:

  • Pharmacie Jean Coutu Line Thibault, Chateuguay, QC
  • Le MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent
  • Le musée de société des Deux-Rives (MUSO)