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AFC Completes Successful Exhibition in NY
1/22/2010 - Vancouver, B.C., CANADA -- (January 20, 2009) - Following the great success of the inaugural show, the Artists for Conservation Foundation (AFC) ended its second annual juried exhibition –"The Art of Conservation - An International Exhibit of Nature in Art" – featuring the nature art of its members. The Art of Conservation celebrates artistic excellence in the depiction of nature, raises awareness of conservation issues and directly supports organizations dedicated to addressing them.

The AFC is the world's leading artist collective supporting the environment. The AFC fulfills its mission through several programs, including books, exhibits and collaborative art/science expeditions that engage and inform the public, and create legacies of support for the environment. With a membership spanning nearly thirty countries, the AFC represents a who's who of artists who are dedicated to supporting and portraying nature through their art. Its membership includes renowned artists such as Robert Bateman, John Banovich, Guy Coheleach, Pollyanna Pickering, John Seerey-Lester and David Shepherd.

The purpose of the exhibition was three-fold: i) To support conservation through fundraising and education; ii) To showcase the extraordinary pool of artistic talent in the AFC; and iii) To expose the nature art genre to new audiences. Since its first annual exhibit in 2008, The Art of Conservation has become one of the most highly anticipated events in the wildlife art / nature art genres.

The 2009 exhibition was officially launched on September 27, 2009 at the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum (HBAM) – one of the world's leading museums for nature and wildlife art – situated half an hour from New York City. The HBAMl hosted this four-month, exhibition along with some exciting associated events, including a special weekend reception.

An important part of the exhibition was to serve as a public relations and fundraising vehicle for a leading conservation organization. In recognition of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and their cooperation in helping to launch our first annual show in 2008, they have been designated the beneficiary again for 2009 and accordingly receive several thousand dollars from the revenues resulting from the sale of artwork in the show.

"The Artists for Conservation Foundation has an important role in working with, and supporting conservation organizations who work in the field. We are in the extraordinary position of being able to bring an unparalleled pool of artistic talent focused on nature, to help these organizations communicate important issues to the public, and to help them raise funds," notes Jeffrey Whiting, President and Founder of the AFC.

Accompanying the exhibition was a high-quality, hardcover book, reproducing in color, all the works selected for the show. Copies of this book are still available and can be purchased on this site.

During the official openning of the exhibition five AFC artists were presented with the AFC "Medals of Excellence", for their artworks in the show. The five award-winners, in alphabetical order were:
•Carel Brest Van Kempen for his "Creekside Conclave -Varied Harlequin Toads" This is the artwork that is featured on the cover of this year's show companion book,
•Jim Coe for "Snowy Fields",
•Guy Combes for his "The Creche" of an elephant family
•Andrea Rich for her woodblock print "Cranes in the Mist", and
•Mary Taylor for her lifesize metal sculpture "The Filly".

Each recipient of the AFC Medal of Excellence received a custom cast pewter medal, mounted in a custom velvet-backed wood and Lucite frame displaying a silver plate bearing a description of the award and the name of the recipient.

Chairman of the Blauvelt Museum, James Bellis Jr., presented the Blauvelt Purchase Award to Robert Glen for his bronze casting, "Warthog Running".

A new "Wildscape Editor's Choice" award was created this year in recognition of our UK media sponsor, Wildscape Magazine. This year the award went to Patricia Pepin for her painting "Takhi". Also recognized by the magazine for special recognition were Doug Aja ("Final Warning"), Sally Berner ("Washed Up") and Linda Sutton ("Imposing Prescents").

The first AFC Globetrotters Award was presented to the member who travelled the greatest distance to attend the opening weekend celebrations. Travelling the greatest distance was Chris McClelland with his wife Margie from Hay, New South Wales, Australia, only slightly edging out Lyn Ellison and Peta Boyce, also from Australia. The AFC is purchasing a Gold Standard carbon offset for the carbon footprint left by Chris' travels.
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