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Sue Stolberger

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for January, 2005

For the past ten and one half years, Sue Stolberger has been living and working in the Ruaha National Park in southern Tanzania. Her studio is a camp on the banks of the Great Ruaha River. She is one of two people not employed by the park to be allowed to live in the park. She finds the peace and solitude of the remote area not only conducive to painting but the best way to learn and observe from the vast array of wildlife that surrounds her home. She sketches prolifically, and never ceases to be inspired and enthralled by the diversity of light, colour, patterns and designs that nature conjures up.
 
In recent years the Great Ruaha River has stopped flowing towards the end of the dry season and is reduced to pools which teem with fish, crocodiles and hippos. The reduced flow is of concern to everyone from conservationists to users of electricity throughout Tanzania and is currently under investigation by several co-operating agencies. With the onset of the rains the river is transformed to a wide, fast flowing body of water, peaking in April.
 
Sue has become very actively involved with the Friends of Ruaha Society (FORS), and in conservation projects in the buffer zones surrounding the Park, You might wish to visit their site at www.friendsofruahasociety.org.
 
Most recently, Sue and fellow AFC member Rob Glen held an auction of a Glen bronze, and a Sue Stolberger painting, and the last remaining copy of the delux edition of her book which she had been keeping aside for the occasion, at their recent highly successful show in Dallas in Oct/04.  The proceeds from this book all went to FORS. Sue also organized an area of the exhibition room devoted to the FORS work.
 
Sue and Rob have raised thousands of dollars for and continued to spread the word about Ruaha. According to a director of FORS  "Sue has battled on unceasingly for Ruaha for the last decade, has raised tens of thousands of dollars for Ruaha both directly because of her own generosity and indirectly through her tireless efforts at writing to, talking with and cajoling money and other forms of assistance from others! And above all by never letting the rest of the world forget that the Great Ruaha River was dying and the appalling consequences of this and fighting for the restoration of flow.
 
As an artist living beside this once mighty perennial river, she more than anyone was intimately aware of the unfolding disaster and never ceased to do everything in her power to try to prevent further destruction and to have the river flow restored. From the beginning she kept a detailed record of flow and cessation and weather etc. - the only long term detailed data that exists - so that it is to her that others (including the scientists) have gone for that invaluable data when, inevitably, it was needed.
 
At times, Sue singlehandedly kept FORS alive, and although Sue has now been able to leave much of FORS work and it's expansion to others, she continues to beat the drum for FORS where-ever she goes and, most importantly, raise funds - without which FORS could not do what it does."

Previous Conservation Artists of the Month

(October, 2017)
(September, 2017)
(August, 2017)
(July, 2017)
(June, 2017)
(May, 2017)
(April, 2017)
(March, 2017)
(February, 2017)
(January, 2017)
(December, 2016)
(November, 2016)
(October, 2016)
(September, 2016)
(August, 2016)
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