- The Artist
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.
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-