Ana Sapp, a senior at Salem Academy, spent her early years in nature.
“We lived on a Stokes County watershed, where we’d regularly see egrets, blue herons, indigo buntings, and even an occasional bald eagle. I soon learned to identify birds, and I spent hours sitting at our kitchen table drawing and painting the chickadees, goldfinches, and other birds attracted to the lake and our feeders,” she said.
Sapp’s early interest in birds motivated her to look for interesting summer programs for high-school students. In the summer of 2016, she was selected to attend the North American Nature Photographers Association High School Scholarship Program (NANPA), held in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Sapp was among 10 students from North America selected to study nature photography, as well as the biodiversity of the region with local scientists and educators. She noted, “We actually worked with National Geographic photographers in this program. It was an incredible experience!”
After the summer, she knew her career path was clear.
“This experience was foundational. It provided me with hands-on, field experience in conservation photography, as well as helped me develop my voice as an advocate for the environment.”
Sapp turned to one of her NANPA mentors for ideas as she planned for the following year. She attended two recommended programs, which again featured conservation photography: the National Geographic Student Expedition in Yellowstone National Park and the Ecuador Conservation Photography Workshop.
Join Sapp as she shares her conservation photography in November and December at the Jayebird Gallery located in the Hanging Rock State Park Visitor’s Center. There will be an opening reception Saturday, Nov. 4, 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and the public is invited to attend, meet Sapp, view her conservation photography, and talk with her about her travels.
For more information, contact the Stokes County Arts Council at 336-593-8159 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.