A E London Journal

Fri, Feb 17th, 2017

Coconut Grove 2017

Our first show this year was Coconut Grove, in Miami. This is one of " best shows" in the nation with well over 3000 applications from artists to fill 350 spots at the show. Usually we do the coconut Grove show, and then follow that up with the Naples international show the following week. However, this year the Naples show apparently missed their permit application date and had to hold their show the same weekend as Coconut Grove. Although many of our friends made the drive over from Naples to Miami, we still missed many of our friends from Naples.
We always enjoy seeing all our old friends in the Miami area and we often make new friends from all over the world at the show. For example, last year we sold several pieces to a lovely couple to furnish their new home in Switzerland.
Visit started with a wonderful dinner with Ron McGill of the Miami zoo and his beautiful wife,Rita.Besides being one of the most knowledgable and successful conservationists on the planet, Ron has been both an inspiration and mentor helping us manage Arts For Animals.They took us to an incredible steakhouse where we had a Brontosaurus sized Ribeye .( the "leftovers" of which we ate for dinner the following 3 nights). It was delicious and we always really enjoy seeing Ron and Rita and trading travel and animal stories.
Another one of the high points for us this year was getting to know our hosts at the air B&B we stayed in. Phil and Suzy Stapelton. Both Phil and Susie are artists and have created a lovely retreat only a few blocks from the show near the Coconut Grove waterfront.We used our new bikes and rode to and from the show each day.Each night we sat outside under the stars and flowering bougainvillea and traded stories with Phil,Suzy and their interesting neighbors.
It was an interesting coincidence that author,Larry Kritcher, lives across the street.Larry was an airline pilot between 1950 and 1980 and used his airline privileges to visit every corner of the world. He wrote of his adventures with his wife Rita and is working on his second book. The real coincidence is that Rita told us that it was a conversation they had with us 2 years before,at the 2015 Coconut Grove festival , that encouraged them to visit Namibia last year and Larry had included us in the first chapter of his latest book chronicling that trip!
Ya never know who you'll meet at art shows!


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Wed, Feb 8th, 2017

For me this Christmas was a time for Recuperation

Unfortunately ,I was rear ended in an auto accident last June and have been suffering the after effects for several months. Without going into the gory details, I had to have neck surgery in early December. As you might expect the hardest part of recuperation was being still. Just not in my nature I guess. The good news is that the surgery was a success and I am slowly getting back into the studio to do what I love most.
I did manage a trip into town with my friends Glen and Laura and Jim to view one of the coolest night parades of Mardi Gras. It was the all-female KREWE OF MUSES and it was really a hoot.

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Tue, Nov 1st, 2016

OUR AFRICAN ADVENTURE 2016

Our annual African safaris are always a great adventure. Just like the early African explorers, we never know what wildlife dramas will unfold before us. Of course, part of our adventure is sharing Africa with our friends and this year we had some wonderful friends along. We had some amazing experiences together, shared a lot of laughs, and became even better friends than when we started.

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Fri, Oct 21st, 2016

Presenting my artwork to the President of Botswana

For many years I have applauded the conservation efforts of the country of Botswana. President Khama followed in his father's footsteps( His father was the first president of Botswana after independence and was convinced that Botswana's wildlife was one of its most important resources- as important as diamonds) establishing Botswana as one of the most conservation aware nations in Africa. When I learned my friends Willie and Anna were personal friends of the president, I asked them to set up a meeting so that I could show my support for their efforts. It was an interesting and humbling experience. It was also a very emotional one for me and, while reading the letter Jim and I wrote, I started tearing up and crying.
Luckily, the television story cut out the part when the presidents Minister came over and offered me his handkerchief and comforted me. I guess that helped to impress them that I was very sincere about my appreciation and support for their efforts. I only wish more people would support these efforts and that more countries in Africa would ban trophy hunting and concentrate on stopping animal poaching within their borders. As least I can say I did my best!

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Thu, Sep 29th, 2016

Houston Zoo Benefit Auction

"And It Was Good" is a 36" x 72" original piece created and donated by A E London and funded by the Regenstein Foundation for the Houston Zoo Benefit Auction to be held October 20th.I chose Sumatran Rhinos as my subject since they are the closest Rhino to extinction.

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Fri, Aug 26th, 2016

ADVENTURES IN TONGA !

In August, Jim and I checked off an important box on our bucket list- swimming with humpback whales on the island of Tonga in the South Pacific. I have always been mesmerized by the beauty and grace of whales and they were often the subject of my early intaglio pieces. Jim convinced me that it would be worthwhile for me to use some of my latest techniques using whales as my subject. And what better place to observe whales in their native habitat than Tonga!
Tonga is a small nation of 130,000 folks in the extreme southern Pacific Ocean. Is the only island nation that was never colonized and has maintained its independence throughout history. Since it's about halfway between Fiji and New Zealand ,It's a regular stop for boats sailing around the world on their way to New Zealand from Fiji.
The pregnant females come to Tonga to have their babies and prepare them for life in the Arctic oceans. Warm, clear water, deep channels and no predators( other than man) make it a perfect nursery area for the giant ,10 ton humpbacks.
The people of Tonga have a lot in common with the people of Africa. Both are intricately linked with the wildlife that surrounds them. Both have faced, and are facing, crucial challenges in preserving their wildlife. Pollution and trash, shrinking habitat, and protection of wildlife from poachers are common threats in both places.
While in Tonga, we made contact with the Vava'u environmental protection Association and set up a conservation and creativity course for students from eight schools all over the island. Just like African kids, the children were excited by guidance in art and discussions about conservation.
The Tongan people are incredibly generous and kind people. There are no homeless people in Tonga since anyone in need is immediately helped by the local people regardless of whether they need a ride, a place to stay, or roof over their heads for weeks at a time.
Although we have been to some pretty primitive areas in Africa, Tonga represented a different kind of poverty and educational challenge. Despite having very little, like Africans, the Tongan people are extremely happy and satisfied to share whatever they have.
Like African people, the heritage and future of the Tongan people lies in preservation of their wildlife and protection of their reef and ocean habitat.


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Tue, Jun 7th, 2016

WHAT A SUMMER!!!

This has been an exciting, but busy summer with lots of art shows,wildlife events, interesting people and places like Tonga to read about,so we will work to catch you up through this journal over the next few months.

In April, While we were in Houston for the Bayou city art show, we held an art event with Peter Blinston, from wild dog conservation in Zimbabwe. We debuted Anne's new video and Peter did a presentation on his work with wild dogs in Zimbabwe. his Bush camp in Hwange Park treats about 1000 kids a year to four days of concentrated game drives, ecology lessons, painted dog biology and wildlife conservation messages.

In May we went to Africa just to open the new Lori o"neal wildlife conservation Center. it's a 40' x 60' steel building designed as a classroom and art studio for African children. Thanks to children in the wilderness and Sue Goatley( and her husband Ron), the building was completed on time and on budget. We spent several days working on the building and getting it ready to open.

We also took a day off to drive four and a half hours west of Victoria Falls to visit the painted dog conservation Center that Peter had built.
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Our experiences at painted dog conservation encouraged us to develop partnerships with the Bush school there as well as other established schools and camps dedicated to conservation work. Our curriculum and drawing activities dovetail perfectly with these programs and add an exciting creative element for the children to focus on. Jim and I were really excited to hear that the painted dog conservation Center was interested in partnering with us since it allows us to impact thousands more children without having to build buildings or "re-create the wheel". these ongoing programs already do with they do best and allow us to do what we do best -which is connecting creativity with conservation.

We spent the day working with about 30 children at the camp, teaching them how to draw endangered species and showing them art. Those drawing lessons were mixed with conservation messages and they ended up each finishing their own poster to bring home.

We returned to Victoria Falls to finish work on the conservation center and teach our first few classes in art and conservation. The building is great with good security, ample wall space for inspirational messages and artwork and lots of desks. Besides my artwork, several of our friends donated pieces to show the children how diverse art can be.

We were also invited to experience wilderness safaris new Bush camp ,Linkwasha, bordering Hwange park. it's a beautiful camp, situated perfectly in some very remote areas of Zimbabwe. Since the rainy season came late this year, there was water available everywhere and so the game was quite spread out. we probably only saw about one quarter wildlife we saw there last May, when it was much drier and the wildlife was concentrated near waterholes.

After returning home, we drove cross-country up to the Bellevue art fair in Washington visited with our old friends, Jan Harding,Wally Nagel and sarah mogk. We shared a great dinner, and had a great visit during the show. We left our van,"Tembo", in their care and flew home to get ready for our next adventure in Tonga.

You can now follow Anne's adventures through her Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/aelondonstudio/

Don't forget to check out our ARTS FOR ANIMALS Facebook page for more specific info on our work with African kids to teach them about art and Wildlife conservation-

https://www.facebook.com/artsforanimalsbyaelondon/

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Mon, Oct 19th, 2015

Raising Funds Through Art

In October 2015, I joined forces with Amy Dickman to host an invitation-only art show in Houston, Texas. Amy has garnered global recognition for her work in Tanzania to protect carnivore populations. Her program works with local Maasai tribesmen to transform their tradition of killing lions as a rite of passage into manhood. Instead, the young Maasai warriors adopt and protect a lion. In 2014, Amy won an award from Britain’s Prince Philip for her work to save more than 200 lions each year through her programs.

The Houston art show was a wonderful opportunity for folks to meet Amy personally and learn about her projects in Africa. My artwork raised more than $37,000 that night, with the funds divided between my Art of Animals organization and Amy’s Ruaha Carnivore project. The proceeds allowed Amy to buy a new, state-of-the-art solar power system for her facility in Tanzania.

The next night, Amy was one of four featured lion researchers at the Houston Zoo’s benefit dinner, which raised funds to help conserve diminishing lion populations.


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