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West Virginia artists support Endangered Species Day through creative conservation

By Gabriella Brown

West Virginia illustrators Rosalie Haizlett and Logan Schmitt are using their artistic talents to bring awareness to Endangered Species Day — today — through a virtual auction.

“We both like to raise awareness for overlooked plants and animals in our work,” Haizlett said. “I think it is fun to show people how you can be really creative with conservation.”

The auction will feature a 16-by-20-inch pen-and-ink and watercolor illustration that features endangered species found in mountain bogs.

The auction will be held on Haizlett’s Instagram page at the username ‘RosalieHaizlett’ at 4 p.m today. The starting bid is $350, and participants have 24 hours to bid on the piece.

To participate in the auction, bidders can comment their bids directly on the Instagram post with their email address included. Bids must be whole numbers, and 50-cent bids will be deleted.

Haizlett said all proceeds will be donated to the Nature Conservancy. She said this organization was chosen because it works directly with bog turtles, an endangered species of turtle featured in the art piece.

Although Haizlett and Schmitt are childhood friends who live in Wheeling, this was their first time collaborating on an art piece together. Haizlett said they each picked a species they wanted to incorporate into the painting.

Schmitt decided to include a bog turtle because he found them interesting and adorable, and he thought they would be a perfect fit for the illustration.

“I thought they were really cute,” Schmitt said. “I didn’t know they were the smallest turtle species in North America, so I thought that was interesting.”

Haizlett chose the mountain sweet pitcher plant as her part of the piece. She said she thinks the plant is fascinating and wanted to bring awareness to help preserve it.

“I love pitcher plants,” Haizlett said. “They are carnivorous plants, so they eat insects, and they are exotic looking and I love that they grow in the Appalachian Mountains.”

While Schmitt said he is excited to raise money and bring awareness to wildlife and endangered species conservation, he is also looking forward to the opportunity to interact with the community.

Haizlett said it can be challenging to financially contribute to the organizations they care about. She said she is also looking forward to having a way to bring the community together and support something she cares about.

“For young artists it is difficult for us on our own to make a big donation to environmental nonprofits,” Haizlett said. “We can use the skills that we have to put on something like this in order to support that work that we think is really important.”

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