Anne London can't remember the day she decided she would be an artist.
I have always known, even as a small child, where my destiny was headed, says wildlife artist, A.E. London.
Anne's artistic abilities were apparent at an early age when she began selling her art professionally in Los Angels while still in Junior High School. She graduated from California State University, developing her artistic talent under the tutelage of renowned artist and educator, Saul Bernstein.
Following a different path led her, from an early film industry career in Los Angles, to working with film actress, Tippi Hedren, founder of Shambala - a refuge for big cats, elephants and many other endangered species. It was there London realized that she could combine her two passions; art and animals. Since then, she has developed a remarkable career as an internationally recognized artist, and champion of animal conservation.
Her immigrant parents had encouraged her to expand her talents as they explored their new country and its wildlife, and those combined interests have taken her to Africa, Asia and all over the Americas in pursuit of her subject matter- endangered species.
"The commercial art world was not for me," she says," All I could think about were these animals and the problems they were facing as a species. I wanted future generations to be able to experience the magnificence of seeing these beautiful animals living in their native habitat.
Anne's mission has led her repeatedly to Africa, Asia and other wild locations - to witness firsthand and record the face of nature through her " Portraits of the Wild ".
Her current body of work using charcoal and water media evolved from years of meticulously hand crafting her highly acclaimed work in engraving. "I loved the classic stunning effect of engraved art but the process was just too wearing on my body. It was an obstacle that turned into a blessing when I saw how my artistic expression changed and how much more alive my art became."
Each year for the past 30 years, Anne has traveled across the nation, exhibiting at 20 to 35 art shows and keeping in touch with her friends and collectors as well as maintaining her ties with the zoo and conservation community. In these, often museum sponsored, events she has won hundreds of "Best in Show" awards.
She travels to Africa regularly, bringing back her field sketches and basing the next year's work on them. She has earned awards across the nation, including the prestigious Award Of Excellence given by the Society of Animal Artists, and has been featured in magazines such as Wildlife Art News and The Wildlife Journal. Chosen several times by the Society of Animal Artists for "The Art and The Animal Tour ", her work has gained critical acclaim by both the art world and the scientific community. She has been featured on Animal Planet and broadcast television.
"When I look at a lion, I see its uniqueness as an intelligent being. All animals have a rich interior life full of emotions–to ignore that fact is to miss something significant we share".
Looking at one of Anne's pieces, one of the first elements that a viewer connects with is the animal's personal nature and emotion. Years of studying wildlife anatomy in native habitats and in surgeries have honed her anatomical skills, but it's the intimate connection the viewer feels with the subject that she uniquely brings to the easel. She strives to create a genuine empathy for what she calls, “the other earthlings”.
Anne's journeys led her to the "wilds of Louisiana" where she moved to join her fiancé, Jim Hart, in 2010. Anne and Jim, both experienced travelers in Africa, crossed paths in Zanzibar several years ago and the relationship naturally blossomed. Active in Ocean research and marine conservation efforts around the world, Jim 's life also revolved around wildlife and environmental action as well as art. They live near New Orleans, in Mandeville, La. in a renovated home designed in an African/Asian style, where she has her studio and workshop. They enjoy living there with their 3 dogs in a natural, country environment a short drive from the Belgian horse she raised from a colt.
Along with maintaining her art commitments, Anne and Jim volunteer weekly at "New Heights" therapeutic riding facility where they help veterans, adults and children with disabilities horseback ride. Avid outdoor enthusiasts, they are also active SCUBA divers and, through the "Diveheart Foundation," help folks with disabilities train and participate in SCUBA diving trips to the Caribbean.
She travels to Africa regularly, visiting friends and fellow conservationists, while bringing back field sketches and photographs of her beloved wildlife. Anne then bases her, "Portraits Of The Wild" on her real life experiences in the African bush.
Her work can be seen at several wildlife preservation and breeding institutions and municipal zoos as well as in galleries in Aspen, Colorado , Seattle ,Washington and Jackson, Wyoming. Her work was chosen to be exhibited at the Salon D' Louvre in Paris in 2017 and also for the Sketch For Survival exhibition in London. One of her most famous sculptural pieces is a large bronze Mountain Lion Sculpture in the center of the Santa Barbara zoo. Besides being collected privately around the world, several international corporations continue to exhibit her artwork, as well as hospitals, conservation foundations and public figures. Her work and techniques are currently used in the teaching curriculum of The California Academy of Art.
Support for Conservation:
Approaching her fourth decade as a fine artist, London has always used her work to raise both money and awareness for endangered animals. She is active in several animal conservation organizations as well as serving on the board of directors for The Project Hope Foundation. Both the International Rhino Foundation and The Cheetah Conservation Foundation have named her as a signature artist and designer of their fund raising images.
While on one of her annual trips to Africa in 2012 to research her animal subjects, she began bringing art supplies and teaching art and conservation messages to children in Botswana and Zimbabwe. In 2014, she and her oceanographer husband, Jim Hart, formed a nonprofit called," ARTS FOR ANIMALS". What began, as a personal effort to teach African children the importance of wildlife to their heritage and their future, has grown into an organization helping thousands of children to learn the value of art and wildlife conservation to their future.
Her website, www.artsforanimals.com, has offered wildlife lovers across the planet the opportunity to help children in the USA and in Africa learn the value of art and creativity as well is the importance of wildlife to their heritage and their future.
She often organizes and sponsors Art Events which feature a specific animal conservation program and then donates half of the proceeds to the featured program and ARTS FOR ANIMALS. Last year she raised $45,000 at an event for the RUHAHA LION PROJECT and this year she raised $24,000, for PAINTED DOG CONSERVATION.
ARTS FOR ANIMALS WILDLIFE CENTER
In 2015 Anne and Jim ,with the help of one of their partner organizations "CHILDREN IN THE WILDERNESS", renovated an old building near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and started the ARTS FOR ANIMALS WILDLIFE ARTS CENTER to give local children a place to be exposed to, and learn about, art,conservation stewardship and creativity.
When visited by the Zimbabwe Minister of Education,he was impressed enough to appoint an art curator/teacher to run the Center. The Center was an overwhelming success and a year later, a brand new Center was built with funds Anne raised through Art events and donations from clients.
The new Wildlife Arts Center provides a large classroom and secure computer room for area students. Surrounded by inspirational messages and art donated by Anne and her artist friends, children are often exposed to the magic of art for the first time.They are motivated to exercise their own creativity and understand the value of their wildlife to their own heritage and future.
Recently, a new ,open air gallery was added,doubling the effective size of the Center and creating a place art students can meet, draw and work on projects, even when the Center itself is closed.
ARTS FOR ANIMALS provides drawing kits, activity posters and
mentoring by teachers and talented fellow students that have received ARTS FOR ANIMALS scholarships. Since power in the area is scant and unreliable ,electricity supplied by a new solar power system runs the ART CENTER'S three Laptop computers for the students to use. Again, often the computers Anne donated are the first these children have seen.
The WILDLIFE ARTS CENTER also provides a place for the local" Eco rangers" and "Animal Protector" groups to meet. Developed by Anne's husband Jim, the " Animal Protector" program, encourages African children to make a pledge they will protect animals and help their family and friends understand the value of African wildlife. in 2014, 450 children first made that pledge and wear the blue wristband which signifies that commitment. Since then,over 4000 children have made that pledge.
Today,ARTS FOR ANIMALS is offering support and Art teaching components to partners like "CHILDREN IN THE WILDERNESS" and "PAINTED DOG CONSERVATION" "bush camps". These camps work with over 2500 children each year. By helping ongoing programs offer African kids art education as a part of their Animal Conservation curriculum ,excitement and motivation is increased and the programs are more effective.
This allows ARTS FOR ANIMALS to help and influence thousands
more kids with minimal cost.
Anne travels back to Africa several times each year to personally teach and inspire children at the WILDLIFE ARTS CENTER and also at local schools in Zimbabwe.
Anne's goal is to have thousands of African children growing up with a firm understanding and commitment to preserving their wildlife. If we are going to change the future, it is going to be by changing the attitudes and efforts of children today.
- 2018 - Anne London sets new SEWE "quickdraw" record
Anne London's Art piece set a new record for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition's "quickdraw" competition event. Exhibiting artists from all over the world had one hour to complete an art piece in front of SEWE members and guests ,with half the proceeds going to wildlife conservation programs. After the event, members and gallery owners bid on the "quickdraw" artworks. Anne's piece ,"Memories of Savute' ", brought in $6000, over $2000 more than any piece in the prior 35 years of the event. SEWE is the oldest Wildlife Art Exposition in the United States dedicated to wildlife conservation and wildlife related sports.
- 2017 - Artwork chosen for Sketch For Survival program
Anne's work was chosen to represent the 2018,"Sketch For Survival" campaign. Sketch for Survival is an international fundraising Campaign by the REAL AFRICA TRUST which uses artwork and sketches from accomplished artists all over the planet to raise funds for noteworthy conservation projects in Africa and Asia .Based in London ,it raised over $100,000 through it's first online art auction in 2017.
- 2014 - London nominated for Conservation Award
Anne in London was nominated for the Artists for Conservation Simon Coombs award for her work with children in Africa.
Her nonprofit," Arts for Animals', teaches children in Africa to draw endangered species and connects their creativity with conservation stewardship messages. " I was honored to be recognized by Artists for Conservation for my efforts to change the future of endangered animals in Africa. I believe my story clearly demonstrates that any artist, even with the most minimal resources, can make a difference in wildlife conservation on our planet."
Anne is proud to be exhibited in the following public and private collections;
Al Giddings,Underwater Cinematographer,Film Producer, CA
Ally Sheedy, Actress, Film Producer, CA
Artists for Conservation International Exhibit
Cathryn Hilker, Cat Ambassador Program, Cincinnati Zoo
Darryl McFadden, Deputy Director, Detroit Zoo MI
Dr. Ellis Greiner, PhD, Active Chair UCF Gainesville Vet. School, FL
Farley Mowat, Conservationist, Author, Canada
Frank Murru, Director ,Sea World, Orlando, FL
Frederika Kaestle, PhD, Dept. of Anthropology, Yale University, CT
Gainesville University Art Exhibition, FL
Haagen Daaz Corporate Headquarters Collection
Kalahari Predator Project
INTEL Corporate Headquarters Collection., CA
International Rhino Foundation Headquarters, FL
Ivan Tors, Filmmaker, Producer, CA
Jack Hanna Director Columbus Zoo, OH
Jack Pierson, Curator of Mammals, Sea World Orlando, FL
Jamie and Jim Dutcher, filmmakers, National Geographic Films
Jean Philip Cousteau, Filmmaker, Producer,Marine Conservationist
Jerry Boren, Director, Columbus Zoo, OH
John Denver,Personal Estate Collection, Musician, Filmmaker
Laurie Marker, Director- Cheetah Conservation Foundation, Africa
Larry Marton, Dean of Medicine, Madison, WI
Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkley, CA
Lincoln Park Zoo, IL
Lubee Foundation, FL
Marine Mammal Center. ,CA
Marine World Africa USA, CA
Marius Kruger, Head Warden, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Miami Children’s Hospital, FL
Miami Metrozoo, FL
Miami Police Dept., FL
National Fish and Wildlife, Washington, DC
Nature Conservancy Corp., CA
NBC Studios, CA
Richard Leakey, International Conservationist, Anthropologist, Africa
Ron Magill, International Conservationist,Author,Director, Maimi Zoo
Santa Barbara Zoo, CA
Sea World Orlando, FL
Senator Quentin Kopp, CA
Stephen Speilburg, Film Producer ,Director, Wyoming Home
St. Louis Zoo, MO
St. Tammany Woman's Hospital Healing Collection
Sundance Institute, UT
The President of Botswana, Ian Khama
The Wilds, OH
Tippi Hedren, Actress, Film Producer, Animal Conservationist,, CA
United States Fish and Wildlife Department, Washington, DC
University of Wisconsin, WI
Former Vice President Al Gore, Family home
White Oak Foundation, Fl
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210 Fountain St.
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