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Ellen Woodbury

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for March, 2015

Ellen Woodbury is currently carving a series of stone sculptures on endangered species. She has six finished pieces: a desert tortoise, a spotted owl, a frog, a tiger, a leatherback sea turtle, a red panda, and a St. Andrew Beach Mouse. A wall-hanging of the blunt-nosed leopard lizard is her next project in this series. This lizard is found only in California's San Joaquin Valley, and its habitat is rapidly being converted to housing and agriculture.  Woodbury explains, "I am at a point in my life where I need for my actions and my art to express my values and beliefs. I want to help stop the destruction of our world and to help all living things to survive and thrive." It is her hope that these sculptures will contribute to people's awareness that we are losing creatures with whom we share this world through environmental degradation, over-hunting and over-fishing, and climate change. She donated 10% of the purchase price of "Save the Tiger" to Panthera, an organization working with other tiger organizations to create a tiger corridor through parts of Asia. She donated 10% of the purchase price of "The Last Dinosaur" to help protect leatherback sea turtle nesting beaches and nests in Nicaragua. She also donated 10% of the purchase price of "Desert Queen" to Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee to help protect and expand desert tortoise habitat in California's Mohave Desert. 

Ellen Woodbury is a one-of-a-kind stone sculptor who carves stylized animals from a variety of colored and white marbles. Her sculpture is juried into national and international shows. Her work has won several national awards and is held in private collections throughout the U.S. 

 Ellen was a Directing Animator and Character Animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation for 20 years and brought to life many well-known characters, including Zazu the bird in "The Lion King," and Pegasus the flying horse in "Hercules." She was a significant artist, and the first woman promoted to the position of Directing Animator, during Disney's second Golden Age of Animation, and animated on all the contemporary classics from "The Little

Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Aladdin" to "Chicken Little." She resigned her position at Disney and moved to Loveland, CO, to pursue a career as an independent sculptor, working primarily in stone. She sculpts with both hand tools and power tools and finds the process of carving exhilarating. Ellen exclaims, "Sculpting in stone is like walking a fine line between creation and destruction--one false move with a tool and you could suddenly have two stones!" Woodbury was well-known in the Animation Industry for her ability to animate animals, and loves carving animals in stone--stylized and with a bit of whimsy.

Ellen grew up in Corning, New York, attended the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University where she earned her BFA in Film and Art, and then went on to California Institute of the Arts where she earned her MFA in Experimental Animation. Her student films won national and international awards, which led to a long career as a Disney Animator. Ellen applies many animation principles to both her design and sculpting processes. She says, "I find stone sculpture to be a logical extension for much of what I learned as an animator. One medium is the illusion of three dimensions and the other is the reality of three dimensions."

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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