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History & Successes

Artists for Conservation (originally "Worldwide Nature Artists Group") was founded in 1997, when the Internet revolution was in its infancy and the World Wide Web had existed for only four years.

Founder, Jeff Whiting - a prominent Canadian artist, author, biologist, and professional software engineer - is the visionary behind this organization. Jeff grew AFC from a solely volunteer-based grassroots initiative and one of the first online member-driven networks, to what it is today: the world's leading non-profit artist group supporting the environment.

AFC's membership spans five continents and nearly 30 countries, and comprises 500 of the world's most gifted nature artists and dedicated conservationists.

AFC brings together an unparalleled pool of artistic talent focused on nature, to help conservation organizations and their partners communicate the important issues facing us and our natural world today.

AFC Over the Years

2013

  • AFC to launch third annual “Artists for Conservation” festival in Vancouver, BC
  • AFC tolaunch 6th exhibit. The world's top conservation-themed art exhibit in Vancouver, BC from Sept 28th – Oct 6st.
  • AFC to launch fourth virtual art exhibit
  • AFC to premiere third documentary film
  • AFC continues Adventures in Art & Education Youth Program as part of the Artists for Conservation Festival.
  • AFC’s to host third Gala fundraising event for Artists for Conservation Foundation
  • AFC's to runs adult workshops program at AFC Festival
  • AFC to publish hardcover book as companion to annual 2013 exhibit
  • AFC to release fourth annual Environmental Calendar.
  • AFC launches 15 year anniversary fundraising campaign
  • AFC announces support for 14th Flag Expedition

2012

  • AFC launches second annual “Artists for Conservation” festival in Vancouver, BC
  • AFC launches 5th exhibit. The world's top conservation-themed art exhibit in Vancouver, BC from Oct 12th – 21st.
  • AFC launches third virtual art exhibit
  • Robert Bateman becomes AFC's first AFC Festival Patron
  • AFC premiers second documentary film "The Soysambu Legacy: Art & Conservation in Africa's Rift Valley" - Story of Simon Combes and his family part of series focused on the role of art and conservation.
  • AFC launches Adventures in Art & Education Youth Program as part of the Artists for Conservation Festival.
  • AFC launches documentary film series and screens 5 films including both AFC films. The first documentary is featured at the AFC festival, special screenings,
    film festivals and tour venues. 
  • AFC’s second Gala fundraising event for Artists for Conservation Foundation
  • AFC's launches adult workshops program at AFC Festival
  • AFC publishes hardcover book as companion to annual 2012 exhibit
  • AFC releases third annual Environmental Calendar, in partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Pollyanna Pickering become recipients of the Simon Combes Conservation Award
  • AFC releases two limited "Conservation Edition" prints: "Owl Alert!" by Hans Kappel, and "Spring Thaw" by Michael Dumas.

2011

  • AFC launches first annual “Artists for Conservation” festival in Vancouver, BC
  • AFC launches 4th exhibit. The world's top conservation-themed art exhibit in Vancouver, BC from Nov 5th – 13th.
  • AFC launches second virtual art exhibit
  • AFC partners with Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson for exhibit tour until March 2012.
  • AFC premiers  first documentary film "How an Artist Saved the Mountain Gorilla" -the pilot in a documentary series focused on the role of art and conservation.
  • AFC launches Adventures in Art & Education Youth Program as part of the Artists for Conservation Festival.
  • AFC launches documentary film series. The first documentary is featured at the AFC festival, special screenings, 
    film festivals and tour venues. 
  • AFC’s first Gala fundraising event for Artists for Conservation Foundation
  • AFC publishes hardcover book as companion to annual 2011 exhibit
  • AFC releases second annual Environmental Calendar, in partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Dr. Guy Harvey becomes recipient of the Simon Combes Conservation Award
  • Robert Bateman creates major painting "Deep Winter - Wolves" and releases Conservation Edition of 100 prints as fundraiser for AFC.
  • AFC successfully launches first volunteer program for Artists for Conservation Festival. 

2010

  • AFC launches first virtual art exhibit
  • AFC launches 4th generation website
  • AFC partners with Houston Zoo, Mountain Gorilla Veterinarian Project and UC Davis       
  • AFC partners with American Museum of Natural History to produce first documentary film
  • AFC establishes first Environmental Statement Award
  • AFC’s first fundraising campaign launched
  • AFC releases first annual Environmental Calendar, in partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society
  • AFC releases first annual greeting cards series
  • Sue Stolberger and Rob Glen become co-recipients of the Simon Combes Conservation Award
  • AFC is again invited to participate in WCN Expo 
  • AFC Invited as special guest to display at Buckhorn Wildlife Art Festival in Ontario, Canada

2009

  • AFC’s 2nd juried exhibit launched at the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum
  • AFC publishes first hardcover book as companion to annual exhibit
  • 10th Flag Expedition completed – Kelly Dodge…
  • John Banovich becomes 3rd recipient of Simon Combes Conservation Award
  • AFC partners with Houston Zoo
  • AFC becomes presentation partner at ZACC conference (Houston)
  • AFC invited to participate in WCN Expo
  • AFC partners with Houston Zoo, Mountain Gorilla Veterinarian Project and UC Davis 
  • AFC partners with Science Art-Nature at Stanford University
  • Wildscape Magazine creates a new Wildscape Editor's Choice Award.

2008

  • AFC’s first juried art exhibit launched at the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum
  • AFC’s first meeting of members and presentations by Flag Expeditioners 
  • Robert Bateman becomes 2nd recipient of Simon Combes Conservation Award
  • AFC publishes first hardcover book as companion to annual exhibit
  • AFC’s Art for Conservation program lists 100th conservation NGO
  • AFC membership reaches 500 members worldwide (from 27 countries)
  • Wildscape Magazine becomes the official UK Art Media Sponsor of the AFC's  Exhibition

2007

  • AFC announces Annual Art Exhibit program
  • AFC announces new annual juried exhibit at tour
  • Medal of Excellence established
  • AFC website traffic achieves 1 million page views in a single month
  • AFC partners with Wildlife Conservation Society for 1st annual art exhibit
  • AFC invited to present at ZACC conference (Houston)
  • AFCweb site  surpassed one million pages viewed during November

2006

  • David Shepherd becomes first to receive Simon Combes Conservation Award during ceremony held at Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum
  • AFC website traffic reaches 400,000 visits in single month
  • Membership reaches 400 members worldwide
  • AFC Events Listing becomes most complete source of nature art related events.

2005

  • AFC establishes Simon Combes Conservation Award
  • David Kitler becomes first artist selected for Flag Expeditions program
  • AFC establishes Monthly Conservation Artist Award
  • Membership reaches 350 members worldwide (19 countries)
  • Coop Advertising Launched with Sporting Classics and Wildlife Art Magazines

2004

  • AFC establishes Flag Expeditions program
  • Membership reaches 300 members
  • AFC establishes scammer alert for members
  • AFC establishes Flag Expeditions program 

2003

  • 3rd generation website goes live
  • Membership reaches 250 members worldwide
  • AFC establishes Art for Conservation program
  • AFC website launches eCommerce service for members to facilitate artwork sales. 

2002

  • AFC releases new butterfly logo design
  • Membership reaches 200 members
  • AFC launches cooperative advertising program for members. Established partnerships with leading magazines including Wildlife Art Magazine and Sporting Classics. 

2001

  • Membership reaches 150 members

2000

  • 2nd generation Website goes live

1999

  • AFC Membership doubles to 80 members

1998

  • First AFC website goes live (March 31) with 40 founding members

1997

  • Jeffrey Whiting establishes AFC (under original name “Worldwide Nature Artists Group”)
© Copyright 2014 Artists for Conservation Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. "Artists for Conservation", "AFC" and the butterfly logo are registered trademarks of Artists for Conservation Foundation, Inc. AFC International Foundation is a registered charity in Canada (860891761 RR 0001).