Weddell-Hespenheide, Janee

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Art has been a passion for Janee most of her life. A Southern California native, she received her formal training from California State University of Northridge earning a BA in Fine Arts. She studied under painting, drawing and printmaking masters including Saul Bernstein, Watson Cross and John Hannah. She also studied graphic design at Los Angeles Trade Technical School. She worked mostly in graphic design until circumstances led her to start teaching school in Los Angeles. She always knew when she retired that she’d dedicate herself to her art. When she retired she moved to the Big Island with her husband Gary and was delighted with the many birds of the islands. Because of her father instilling a love of birds in her, endemic birds of this island have been a great source of inspiration. She is often disappointed with the number of people who are completely unaware of Hawaii’s endemic birds and their plight. “More people need to understand how rapidly and how close we are to losing them forever. Of the 71 historically known Hawaiian birds, 23 are now extinct and 30 of the remaining 48 bird species are listed as endangered or threatened.” She hopes that her art will help raise more awareness, educate and engage people of all ages to help preserve these special Hawaiian birds.

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