She has always loved animals and art, but it is when she won an art contest with IFAW when she was 8 years old, that turned love into passion and inspiration.
She had a plethora of hard and perplexing questions. Looking up with wide blue eyes hidden under the frames of her purple glasses, she begged for answers. She wanted to know what endangered meant, how many animals were endangered and above all else – why? Why were they dying, why were they hunted and what could she do to save them? Needless to say, that conversation did not rest with the stars that night. As she woke up bound and determined to save the animals, and she meant all of them.
She has always had a natural affinity for all creatures, furry or fierce. She has also been gifted with an ability to capture her beloved animals with colour; be it crayon, watercolour or paint. So it was an instinctive choice to combine her artistic talents with her passion for animals to save them. She had no idea how this would actually help, but her desire overtook the uncertain outcome and she just started painting.
She soon decided that she would sell her paintings and donate her funds. In fact, she painted her first 10 animals in under five days. That is when her Facebook page was Faces of The Endangered was created. She is focused on highlighting some of the world’s more endangered animals. She adores big cats and wolves and has produced beautiful canvas pieces, most of which have sold. She also is very troubled by the demise of the rhinos and elephants and the future of many marine animals.
Not only does she paint them, but she researches them as well. In fact, she spends countless hours of reading and research before the art piece is created. Which usually leads to the library and to documentaries. This is just the beginning of her process. Days, weeks and sometimes months are spent on one piece as she learns and discovers new techniques and critiques her own work.
Once she is finished, she posts her paintings on Facebook with a snippet of what she has learned. She shares this to inspire awareness and change to the very serious epidemic we all are facing.
Bria, now 12, has painted over 250 species of endangered animals and landscapes. She has continued to focus on endangered species while also highlighting the causes: habitat loss, deforestation, global warming, poaching and human conflict.
Bria has donated
$9,500 to the International Fund for Animal Welfare ,
$18,900 to The Wolf Conservation Center,
$2,300 to The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society,
$1,100 to the Jane Goodall Institute ,
$500 to the Great Plains Zoo's Endangered Species,
$200 to The Wild Animal Sanctuary
$125 to The Australia Zoo VWW
$50 to The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
and $30 to The National Marine Mammal Foundation.
She Has Donated Over $34,000!!!
Bria has the high honor of being acknowledged as an International Young Eco Hero, a proud recipient of the Points of Lights award, a member of the Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots Program and the winner of IFAW's Animal Hero Award in 2016. Bria is also very excited to be a Founding Member of the Endangered Species Coalition's Endangered Species Youth Activists (ESYA) Network
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