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Robert Glen and Sue Stolberger Receive Simon Combes Conservation Artist Award
4/26/2010 - Internationally recognized artists Robert Glen and Sue Stolberger jointly received the Artists for Conservation's (AFC) top honor: the Simon Combes Conservation Artist Award on April 21st, 2010 during a special gala event at the Houston Zoo, marking the official opening of a special exhibition featuring their artwork. The Simon Combes Conservation Award was created by the Artists for Conservation Foundation in 2005 to honor Simon Combes, a world-renowned painter, author, instructor and dedicated conservationist.

'We're extremely proud to recognize Rob and Sue for their hands-on dedication to conservation and environmental education through their extraordinary talent,' said Jeffrey Whiting, president and founder of the Artists for Conservation Foundation. 'Their story is a true inspiration,' added Whiting. The AFC bestows this tribute annually to recognize individual artist members for their dedication to the conservation cause and outstanding artistic achievement.

'This is really quite an honor and we were surprised we were chosen to receive the award and very flattered,' said Robert Glen. 'The nice thing about it is that Sue and I both knew Simon very well. He was not only a good artist but a fantastic person. So, it was an honor to receive this award, especially because it was from Simon,' added Glen.

'We're absolutely thrilled to get the award,' said Sue Stolberger. 'It is a great honor to be chosen from so many artists who do so many wonderful things out there. And we thank Jeff Whiting for his work highlighting the vital role art plays in the conservation arena,' added Stolberger.

A bronze sculptor, Glen is known for his dynamic and monument-sized creations. Stolberger is a painter with a distinctive style. The two artist-activists live and work in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania, and specialize in depicting African wildlife. Since their arrival in the Ruaha National Park, Tanzania, in 1994, they have led efforts to protect and preserve the Ruaha river valley and shared a dream of building an environmental center as a base for environmental education and support.

Their dream became a reality with the opening of the Idodi Environmental Center in 2007. The solar-powered facility includes a library, a large hall for showing films and lectures, a display area focusing on the environment and a reception room for the headmaster and the teachers. The center is an indispensible asset to the community, and for the school children, the library has become a world of discovery and growth.

The Wildlife of Africa exhibit at the Houston Zoo through April 29 brings Robert Glen from Africa and back to the Houston Zoo for the second time in five years. Featuring 24 bronze sculptures by Robert Glen and more than 30 watercolors and oils by Sue Stolberger, The Wildlife of Africa brings together some of the most strikingly beautiful wildlife art in the world. Exhibition admission is free with your paid Zoo admission. A portion of the proceeds from exhibition art sales benefit the Houston Zoo. Robert Glen and his partner of many years Sue Stolberger have found the inspiration for their creations in remote areas of Tanzania's Ruaha National Park, where they both live and work. As his home for the last 16 years, this vast area of virtually untouched wilderness has provided endless inspiration and motivation for Glen's art.

Enthralled by the diversity of light, color, patterns and designs that nature conjures up, Sue has been living and working in the Ruaha National Park in southern Tanzania for the past 16 years, a place she remembers well from her childhood. Her studio is a camp on the banks of the Great Ruaha River.

About Robert Glen
Born in Kenya, Robert Glen's interest in art and natural history began at an early age. At sixteen years old, he was accepted to serve an apprenticeship in taxidermy at the renowned studio of Coloman Jonas in Denver, Colorado. It was then that his interest in sculpture was born. Returning home after three years of training, he began a transition from taxidermy to sculpting animals in the European tradition of animaliers, working in various media before casting his first bronze in 1970.

Since then, his work has met with great success. His sculptures reside in many private collections including those of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, His Highness the Aga Khan, and the actor James Stewart. He has held many one man shows in the USA, Canada, England, Monte Carlo, Spain and South Africa.

His public commissions include one of Texas's proudest monuments and one of the largest equestrian sculptures in history - the Mustangs of Las Colinas. This impressive work - one and a half times life size - depicts nine Mustang horses galloping through water, and celebrates the arrival in North America of the Andalusian horse. The monument was commissioned for the City of Las Colinas, Irving, Texas, and may be seen in Williams Square.


About Sue Stolberger
Born in Jamaica, Sue Stolberger was four years old when her parents moved to Tanzania, East Africa. She grew up enjoying the pristine beaches north of Dar es Salaam, and often traveled with her parents to Tanzania's wonderful game parks during the holidays. These trips into the wilderness were without doubt a great influence on Sue's desire to make a career from art and wildlife.

Sue began painting seriously after leaving school, and at the age of eighteen she held her first exhibition in Nairobi, Kenya. By the time she was 22 she had decided to make a career as a wildlife artist, and moved to Italy to study the great masters. She remained there for two years. Funding everything by selling her paintings, she finally returned to East Africa where her adventures in the bush - paint brushes in hand began.

Sue always works exclusively in the field, setting up her studio on the banks of the Great Ruaha River in Ruaha National Park. She finds the peace and solitude of the remote area not only conducive to painting but the best way to learn about the vast array of wildlife that surrounds her home.


About Artists for Conservation Foundation
Founded in 1997, the Artists for Conservation Foundation (AFC) is a non-profit, international juried organization dedicated to the celebration and preservation of the natural world and is the world's leading artist collective dedicated to the environment. Based in Vancouver, Canada, the Foundation has a membership spanning five continents and nearly thirty countries. The AFC's mission is to support wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability and environmental education through art that celebrates our natural heritage. Robert Glen and Sue Stolberger are both long-time Signature Members of the AFC.

The Simon Combes Conservation Award was created by the Artists for Conservation Foundation in 2005 to honor Simon Combes, a world-renowned painter, author, instructor and dedicated conservationist. He served as Director of the Kenya chapter of the Rhino Rescue Trust. Combes was tragically killed by a charging Cape Buffalo, wounded by poachers, while hiking near his home in Kenya in 2004.


About the Houston Zoo
Recognized by Parents magazine as one of the Ten Best Zoos for Kids, the Houston Zoo is an exciting live animal adventure that provides a unique educational and conservation resource serving 1.7 million guests annually. Set in a 55-acre lush tropical landscape, the Zoo is home to more than 4,500 exotic animals representing more than 800 species.

Operated by the not-for-profit Houston Zoo, Inc., the Houston Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of endangered species, the provision of engaging educational opportunities and the creation of stimulating exhibits that broaden the experiences of our guests and encourage their curiosity.

 
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