Artists for Conservation (AFC) is the world's leading artist group supporting the environment. With members from over 30 countries, AFC's mission is to support conservation and environmental education through art that celebrates nature.

About AFC

The Artists for Conservation Group (AFC) is a Canadian based non-profit representing approximately 500 artists from over  30 countries,in the nature/wildlife art genre, who are committed to conservation. Many of the world's most recognized names in the field are actively involved.

AFC's Vision is to lead a global artistic movement that inspires individuals and organizations to preserve and sustain our natural heritage by uniting the talent and passion of the world’s most gifted nature artists.

Through festivals, exhibits, collaborative art projects, art-science expeditions, awards, publications, films and leading online initiatives, we engage, inspire and inform the public, and empower passionate professional artists as effective ambassadors for the environment.

Our mission is to support wildlife and habitat conservation and environmental education through art that celebrates nature.

We dedicate our resources to nurturing our world-class community of artists, and leveraging this unique pool of talent to support our mission through a variety of programs and initiatives, including:

  • Engage and educate individuals and organizations through artistic expression to convey the importance and urgency of sustaining our natural heritage; 
  • Maintain the world's largest gallery of nature inspired art and leading online initiatives in support of conservation;
  • Support art-science field research expeditions to study endangered species and threatened habitats;
  • Produce art exhibitions, special events, education workshops and publications in support of conservation;
  • Facilitate member art sales to raise funds for conservation;
  • Recognize artists and other individuals and organizations for their commitments and actions in support of conservation;
  • Partner with conservation and value-aligned organizations for special projects, events and expeditions.
     

Artists for Conservation International Foundation 

Artists for Conservation International Foundation (AFCIF) was established as a separate entity in 2006 with a primary purpose to govern and operate the Artists for Conservation Festival, held annually  in BC's Lower Mainland. Artists for Conservation International Foundation (AFCIF) - a federally incorporated Canadian-based charity based in British Columbia and is a registered BC Society.  AFCIF is a registered charity in Canada (860891761 RR 0001) and a registered Society in the province of British Columbia (XS-0059826). Since 2011, AFCIF has had a primary purpose of delivering the annual Artists for Conservation Festival within the province of BC, and for the benefit of BC residents. Learn more here.
 

Artists for Conservation Group Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy

Artists for Conservation Group (AFC) is committed to creating an environment that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable where all participants, volunteers, members, partners, vendors, and board members are treated with respect and dignity. For the purposes of this statement, diversity refers to race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual identity, familial status, age, disability and socio-economic status; Inclusion is valuing, respecting, and encouraging the full participation of each individual in the life and leadership of the organization; Equity is a process that ensures all people have the opportunity to contribute, develop, and grow despite historical, structural, legislative, racial, and socio-economic inequities. AFC celebrates the rich diversity of the Lower Mainland and indeed all life on the planet. AFCIF does not tolerate discrimination, biases, harassment, or bullying of any kind. Regardless of race, socio-economic status, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, gender, or marital status, we are an organization that celebrates the richness of our community.

Leadership

Jeffrey Whiting, President & Founder

Artists for Conservation was founded in 1997 by Jeff Whiting - artist, scientist, author, environmental advocate, and social entrepreneur. With a formal education in biology and earth sciences, he has been an accomplished and award-winning artist since the age of 15, being recognized as one of the world’s top 15 sculptors of wildfowl, and one of the youngest exhibitors ever to be juried for inclusion in the Birds in Art, the world’s foremost bird art exhibition. At 16 years of age, the Prime Minister of Canada presented one of Jeff's sculptures to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At 18, Jeff completed his first of 5 books and won first prize at the World Championships for Wildfowl Carving. He has published close to ten books in the nature art genre, including educational workbooks, journals and exhibit books. His expertise in nature inspired art stems from three decades of experience in the field as author, educator, and practitioner. 

Jeff spends most of his professional time as the key driving force and visionary behind Artists for Conservation, . combining his artistic creativity and business acumen with the passion for environmental advocacy to bring about change on a global scale. In addition to being the founding member of Artists for Conservation, Jeff is a Signature Members of the Society of Animal Artists, Birds In Art Alumnus and Business in Vancouver 40-Under-40, award winner and Fellow International of the Explorer's Club. Jeff resides in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

 

Directors & Advisors

With the assistance of our international Board of Directors and Advisory Board, AFC continues to set a standard of excellence as the world's leading non-profit group dedicated to support the environment through art. We are grateful to the people who help strengthen our mission, business practices, partnerships and financial stability by providing their time, talent and expertise to our cause.

 

Joyce Trygg

Joyce Trygg

Advisor, Signature Member

Joyce Trygg was born in Antigonish and as a child she lived close to nature at Cross Roads, Country Harbour in Nova Scotia. She surrounded herself with every animal she could adopt and find a place for in her family's small home . These pets were her first "models". Joyce drew constantly throughout her childhood and art was one of her majors in high school.

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Create Leadership Team

Suzie Seerey-Lester

Advisor, Signature Member

Suzie Seerey-Lester is a highly accomplished artist and instructor, and a dedicated conservationist in the field, and through her art. Suzie was honored by the Raymond James Financial Organization in “Women in Arts,” and has had her artwork published in “The Best of Oil Painting” book. Suzie is also an author and instructor in the art marketing field and authored the book “My Painting is Done—Now What Do I Do?”.

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Stephen Quinn

Stephen Quinn

Advisor, fmr Director

Stephen C. Quinn is an award-winning artist, naturalist, author and world-authority has spent a lifetime exploring the natural world and working in a career at the intersection of art and science. Quinn joined the staff of the American Museum of Natural History in 1974, after graduating from the Ridgewood School of Art and Design, where he apprenticed under such diorama-art masters as Raymond deLucia, Robert Kane, and David J. Schwendeman.

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Victor Elderton

Victor Elderton

Advisor

In June 2016 Victor retired from his formal education work as a Vice Principal at Norgate Community Elementary in North Vancouver SD. At Norgate he continued his primary work on nature and placed based experiential learning for children and families. Prior to this appointment Victor was a teacher and Principal Co-Administrator for the North Vancouver Outdoor School (re-branded as the Cheakamus Centre) where he worked for 28 years.

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Guy Combes

Guy Combes

Advisor; Signature Member

Aside from his career as an artist, Guy Combes is US Development Director for Soysambu Conservancy and sits on the board of Friends of Soysambu Conservancy, a US based non-profit fundraising organization. He has raised tens of thousands of dollars for a project to build mobile cattle enclosures to mitigate human-wildlife conflict and ensure that lions can continue to roam free on 48,000 acres of ideal habitat in Kenya’s central Rift Valley.

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William Whiting

William Whiting

Managing Director; Co-Founder

Bill has 30 years of industrial and trade policy experience with the Canadian Federal Government. A Professional Engineer with a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA), he was a senior executive for a number of years with the Industry Department, where he managed a staff of senior professionals before his retirement.

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Antonio Fins

Antonio Fins

Director

Antonio Fins is the Politics and TrumpWatch editor at the Palm Beach Post. Most recently, Antonio led efforts to cover the 2018 midterm elections and recounts. He curates a weekly newsletter with 122,0000 statewide subscribers and is a producer of two podcasts, Inside Florida Politics and Real Donald Trump. Antonio got his start in journalism as a correspondent for Business Week magazine in the Miami bureau.

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Darcy Dobell

Darcy Dobell

Advisor, fmr Director

Darcy Dobell is a seasoned NGO executive known for creativity, authentic community and stakeholder engagement, inspired alliance-building, and operational excellence. She has a strong record of success in organizational leadership and development, and a proven ability to unite diverse interests and teams around shared goals. Darcy also draws on a firmly-rooted personal commitment to ecology and community.

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Brent Cooke

Brent Cooke

Director; Signature Member

Brent is an award-winning bronze artist and world-authority on museum exhibits. A marine biologist by education, Brent's background includes underwater photography, TV and film production and large-scale cultural and natural history projects for museums and cultural institutions,

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Dr. Robert Butler

Dr. Robert Butler

Advisory Board; Signature Member

Dr. Rob Butler is an ornithologist, author, and artist. He holds a graduate degree from Simon Fraser University (MSc) and the University of British Columbia (PhD). He spent 40 years mostly with the Canadian Wildlife Service as a biologist and then a scientist researching birds. Rob is an adjunct professor of Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University and has published over 140 works for scientific and popular audiences.

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Robert Bateman

Robert Bateman

Advisory Board (Honorary Chair); Signature Member

Born in Toronto, Robert Bateman has been a keen artist and naturalist from his early days, and is renowned internationally as a force for environmental education and conservation of our natural world. Bateman's artwork has received international critical acclaim and has attracted an enormous and distinguished following. Bateman's realistic painting style, featuring wildlife in its habitat, encourages the viewer to examine the natural world.

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Advisory Board

Walt Anderson, Artist, Author, Naturalist, Prof. Environmental Studies (ret'd) 
Robert Bateman (Honorary Chairman) Artist and Conservationist
Rob Butler, Chairman of Pacific WildLife Foundation, Ornithologist, Artist & Explorer
Guy Combes, Artist & Conservationist
Darcy Dobell, Former VP of WWF Canada, Sustainability Consultant
Victor Elderton, Environmental Education Specialist, Conservationist
Stephen C. Quinn, Artist, Conservationist, Past Sr. Project Mgr, American Museum of Natural History
Suzie Seerey-Lester, Artist, Author & Explorer  
Joyce Trygg, Artist & Entrepreneur 
Xwalacktun (Rick Harry) OBC, Squamish First Nation Artist

Board of Directors 

Jeffrey G. Whiting, AFC President & Founder, Artist, Conservationist (AFCIF)
Brent Cooke, Artist, Conservationist, Past Exhibit Director for Royal BC Museum (AFCIF)
Cher Anderson, Artist/Philanthropist
Antonio Fins, Editor at Palm Beach Post, Past Executive Director of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (AFCIF)
Craig Ivanyi, Executive Director for Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Volunteer Leads

Rosslyn Shipp
Dina Lee
Melanie Hamilton-Evans
Elise Meakin