2009 Awards

Several awards honoring individuals for artistic merit and contribution to the advancement of the conservation agenda were presented as part of the opening reception weekend.

The following awards were presented at The Art of Conservation 2008 opening weekend awards dinner:

  • The AFC’s Simon Combes Conservation Award honoring an artist member who, through his/her artistic talent has made an extraordinary contribution to the conservation cause.
  • The Hiram Blauvelt Purchase Award, to at least one available artwork in the show. The winning work(s) will become part of the HBAM art collection.
  • Five AFC Medals of Excellence based on the artwork selected for the exhibition and chosen by the independent jury.
  • Wildscape Editor's Choice Award, presented on behalf of UK's Wildscape Magazine.
  • AFC Globetrotter's Award to an AFC member who travelled the greatest distance to attend the show (Carbon offsets purchased in their honor).

Over 100 guests (including artists) were present for the evening celebration. The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum hosted a top-notch VIP cocktail reception, three course dinner and awards ceremony for exhibiting artists, special patron guests, as well as representatives from WCS and AFC. As Master of Ceremonies, AFC President Jeff Whiting, welcomed guests and spoke briefly about the show, as well as the AFC and its programs.

AFC Medals of Excellence

Five AFC artists were presented with AFC 'Medals of Excellence', for their artworks in the show – the show jury reconvened at the Museum in late August to select the 5 awards. 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. Present to receive their awards in person were Jim Cole, Guy Combes and Mary Taylor.

  • 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".  

Blauvelt Museum Purchase Award

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


Wildscape Editor's Choice Award

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").

AFC Globetrotters Award 

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.

Simon Combes Conservation Award Recipient: John Banovich

The evening's most coveted prize was the Simon Combes Conservation Award, given by the AFC to an artist member who has shown extraordinary support for the conservation cause through his or her art. This year's recipient was renowned American artist John Banovich. John was presented with a certificate and a special bronze sculpture trophy, designed by AFC artist Peter Gray of South Africa. John addressed the audience with an inspirational talk about the role of artist in conservation.
He went on to describe the role of the "Banovich Wildscapes Foundation" in fostering cooperative efforts to conserve the world's wild places to benefit wildlife and the people that live there. He emphasized the importance of providing an economic benefit to the local populations who frequently receive little benefit from the endangered habitats that surround them. A percentage of the proceeds from Banovich merchandise are donated to the Banovich Wildscapes Foundation.

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