The Vagabond Amazon by Makenna Connolly, a freshman being home-schooled. "A statement necklace twenty-three inches in length designed with nine hand painted beads created from recycled mylar. The Vagabond Amazon” is my art represented in the wearable form of jewelry. What is unique about my twist on a statement necklace is that I both created the cylindrical beads from recycled materials and hand painted each depicting a different scene. This piece symbolizes both the beauty and trauma only found in the Amazon rainforest as humans devastate the homes of many flora and fauna through slash-and-burn agriculture. The left half represents the zest of life through a pristine river, a dazzling emerald tree snake, vivid tropical flowers relaxing on luscious trees, and the sleekly graceful jaguar. What strips away the sense of tranquility is the focal bead with a sharpened ax followed by the blazing fire of slash-and-burn agriculture. The aftermath on the noticeably darker half is a bloodied feline, charred branches with wilting petals, an ashen reptile, and an infected waterway. My entry portrays reality if we don’t extinguish our current practices, behavior, and mindset.
I have always not just loved but respected animals and my career choice is in the field of animal conservation. Right now I am volunteering as a TWG, Teen Wild Guide, at Oakland Zoo and educate the public with bio-facts such as skulls and furs. It's amazing working with the public while teaching about conservation topics and species which I am very passionate about. I first heard about the Center for Great Apes from the previous zoo I volunteered at, the Central Florida Zoo, and fell in love with orangutans and chimpanzees during my first visit at their member open house.
See Makenna's blog www.greenfirefox.com
Well done, Makenna, this is lovely work!