Simon Combes Conservation Award

Simon Combes
Above: Simon Combes. Below: Simon Combes Conservation Award Trophy, designed by AFC artist Peter Gray
Simon Combes Conservation Artist Award

AFC's Simon Combes Conservation Award is the most prestigious award and highest honour AFC presents to a member artist who has shown artistic excellence and extraordinary contributions to the conservation cause, exemplifying the same qualities as the award's namesake. Past honourees include David Shepherd, Robert Bateman, John Banovich, Sue Stolberger, Robert Glen, Dr. Guy Harvey and Pollyanna Pickering.

Richard Ellis received Artists for Conservation's (AFC) most prestigious award - the Simon Combes Conservation award - for 2013. AFC recognized Richard's support for conservation through his artistic talents during the Artists for Conservation Festival Gala in front of a VIP crowd on September 27, 2013 in Vancouver, BC. Congratulations Richard!

A prominent member of AFC, Simon Combes was Project Director of the Kenya chapter of the Rhino Rescue Trust, an organization founded in 1985 to protect endangered species from being poached, and to help the communities surrounding Lake Nakuru National Park affected by wildlife conflicts. On December 12th, 2004, Simon was tragically killed by a charging Cape buffalo while hiking near his home in Kenya. 

Simon was widely respected as a man of superb artistic talent, as a brilliant communicator, writer, instructor, world-traveler, painter, and as a steward of our planet. We were honoured to have had him as a member of Artists for Conservation.

The award's trophy design, the result of a competition among AFC members, was created by Peter Gray of South Africa. Depicting two wildebeest emerging from a mass and fragmenting slightly to indicate the fragility of our efforts to sustain the wilderness areas and the disappearing herds, the trophy is sculpted in clay and founded bronze with personalized inscription.

Learn more about the Simon Combes Conservation Award and past winners.

In 2012, AFC produced it's 2nd documentary film on Simon Combes and Soysambu. "The Soysambu Legacy: Art and Conservation in Africa's Rift Valley" is a film that tells the extraordinary tale of acclaimed artist and conservationist Simon Combes, and his efforts to protect and capture in art, Africa's endangered species. The film shares how Combes founded the Soysambu Conservancy, a non-profit organisation, and how it endeavours to preserve Africa's Great Rift Valley ecosystem for the benefit of future generations. Watch the Trailer!

AFC Medal of Excellence

AFC Medal of Excellence

These awards are given annually to a small number of artists participating in AFC's Annual Exhibit in recognition of extraordinary artwork within the exhibit. Award selections are made by the Exhibit jury.


2013 Winners:


Artists receiving the awards are as follows:

  • Robin Murray received two Medals of Excellence for his oil paintings "Lost Lands" depicting a jaguar in the Grand Canyon and "Still Life Mischief" featuring birds. 
  • Brent Cooke - Best in Show Award for his bronze sculpture of crows titled "As the Crow Fries".
  • Judy Scotchford - Medal of Excellence Award for her oil painting depicting an African lion titled "The Hunt is on!". 
  • Eva Stanley - Medal of Excellence Award for her bronze sculpture of sandhill cranes titled "The Winds of Change".


2012 Winners: Five AFC Medals of Excellence were given this year, two of which went to the same artist, for the first time ever. Hans Kappel of Germany received a pair of awards for his two paintings: "Elephants" and "Owl Alert!" which was also reproduced as a commemorative fundraising print. Other award winners included Roy Caretta, for his painting "Lady Allure", Michael Dumas for his painting "Trust" and Derek Wicks for his painting "Golden Sanctuary". Roy and Michael were in attendance at the 2012 gala to receive their awards.

View the artwork


Wildscape Editor's Choice Award

Wilscape Magazine Editor's Choice Award

These awards are given annually to a small number of artists participating in AFC's Annual Exhibit in recognition of extraordinary artwork within the exhibit. Award selections are made by the Exhibit jury.




Environmental Statement Award

AFC's Environmental Statement Award is awarded to an artist whose artwork is selected for inclusion in AFC's annual juried exhibit, and is recognized by the exhibit judges to convey a particularly poignant environmental message.

In 2013, Robin Murray was awarded AFC's Environmental Statement Award for his painting "Lost Lands". 

The winner of the 2012 AFC Environmental Statement Award was John Seerey-Lester, for his painting "Elephant Graveyard". View the artwork.

Conservation Artist of the Month Award

AFC's Conservation Artist Award is awarded monthly to honour an AFC member for outstanding artistic talent and extraordinary contribution to the conservation cause. At the end of each year, a past recipient of the monthly honour then has the opportunity to be considered for the annual Simon Combes Conservation Award. 

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