Biography

Douglas Aja has been sculpting African wildlife since the late 1990s. Since that time he donates a portion of the sales proceeds to various conservation organizations as well as donates sculptures for fund raising events. Though he sculpts a variety of species, he specializes in the African elephant. Many elephants are known individuals from Amboseli National Park in Kenya. He has been a longtime supporter of Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE), ElephantVoices and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT). In 2015 he donated a bronze sculpture (Orphans) to DSWT for a fund raising event hosted at London's Landmark Hotel.

Recently he has begun supporting Action for Cheetahs in Kenya (ACK) and Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF). In 2015, he designed and sculpted three bas relief plaques for Laikipia Wildlife Forum. These plaques are given to LWF donors in their highest three donor categories. Aja's bronze sculptures are in the private collections of elephant researchers Cynthia Moss and Joyce Poole, wildlife cinematographer Martyn Colbeck, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Bennington Center for the Arts and NBA great and Basketball Hall of Famer Sam Jones.

Traveling to Africa for the first time in 1978, Doug took part in a wilderness education program with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). There he studied wilderness and mountaineering skills, outdoor leadership, minimum impact camping and Kenya's culture. He continues to visit East Africa regularly to take photos, gather reference material and to further his knowledge and understanding of his subjects. He often backpacks on Mount Kenya, through Maasailand and has climbed Kilimanjaro.

Artists Affiliations: 

Signature Member: Society of Animal Artists (SAA)
Signature Member: Artists for Conservation (AFC)
Elected Member: National Sculpture Society (NSS)
Fellow Maxima Cum Laude: American Artists Professional League (AAPL)
Elected Member: Allied Artists of America (AAA)
Elected Member: Audubon Artists
Elected Member: Academic Artists Association 
The Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington (MPSGS)
Signature Member: Miniature Artists of America (MAA)
Artists Against Extinction

 

 

Support for Conservation: 
  • Supporter of Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Elephant Voices, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Action for Cheetahs in Kenya and Laikipia Wildlife Forum.
  • 2015: Harambee 2015 DSWT fundraiser: Donated bronze "Orphans", Sold for $3,800.
  • 2015: Laikipia Wildlife Forum: Donated time designing and sculpting three bas relief plaques for LWF's highest three donor categories; Kifaru, Ndovu and Simba. These plaques will be cast at Kim Bronze Sculptures Studio.
  • 2015: Action for Cheetahs in Kenya: Donated Cheetah sculptures.
  • 2009: October; Fundraiser for Elephants and ElephantVoices with Dr. Joyce Poole. Presented by the Los Angeles Alliance for Elephants. Donated bronze elephant "Battle Weary". Donated photographs; "Echo" and " Through the Shadows".
  • 2008: October; Fundraiser for Elephants and ElephantVoices with Dr. Joyce Poole. Donated bronze elephant "Echo & Calf".

 

Special Achievements: 

Sculpture Awards  

  • Hudson Valley Art Association: 88th Annual National Juried Exhibition 2021: Juror’s Choice Award, Morning's Chill  

  • Academic Artists Association: 71th Annual National Exhibition 2021: Academic Artists Honor Award, Young Rivals 

  • Northern California Society of Arts in Miniatures: The Elizabeth Specht Memorial  Miniatures in Mariposa 2021: Second Place, Elephant Calf II; Third Place, Elephant Keeper   

  • National Society of Artists: 35TH Annual Juried Show 2021, Second Place, RUSSELL

  • Fusion-Art: 6th Annual Artists Choice Exhibition 2021: Best in Show/Sculpture, Football Buddies  

  • Fusion-Art: 3nd Annual Into the Wild International Art Exhibition 2021: Second Place/Sculpture, Young Rivals 

  • 6th Annual Animal Kingdom International 2021: Second Place/Sculpture, Just Having Fun

  • The Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, D.C.: 87th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2020; Honorable Mention/Sculpture, Hurdlers

  • American Artists Professional League:  "FAVORITE THINGS" Members Theme Show 2020:  First Place/Sculpture, Playtime 

  • Northern California Society of Arts in Miniatures: The Elizabeth Specht Memorial  Miniatures in Mariposa 2020 Best in Show, Playful; Honorable Mention, Edwin Lusichi

  • ENDANGERED Art and Photography Contest:  Art4apes 2020
    Highly Commended, Young Rivals;  Highly Commended, Just Having Fun,  

  • Fusion-Art: 6th Annual Figures & Faces 2020, Third Place/Sculpture, Morning's Chill

  • Fusion-Art: 5th Annual Animal Kingdom International 2020, Best in Show/Sculpture, Fury  

  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Competition 2019, Finalist
  • Fusion-Art: 4th Annual Animal Kingdom International 2019, Best in Show/Sculpture, Dionysus     
  • Fusion-Art:: 5th Annual Figures & Faces 2019, Second Place/Sculpture, RUSSELL

  • Rehoboth Art League Corkran Gallery:Conteporary Miniatures 2019, Honorable Mention Playful

  • Academic Artists Association: 69th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism  2019: Merit Award, Echo & Calf                 

  • Audubon Artists: 2018 Audubon Artists 76th Exhibition: Council of American Artist Societies Traditional Figurative Gold Award, Dionysus  

  • American Artists Professional League: Celebrating the Spirit of America Members Theme Show 2018:  Best in Show, Money in the Bank  
  • Academic Artists Association: 68th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism  2018:  Materials Award, Football Buddies
  • Fusion-Art: International "Open" Art Competition 2018: Best in Show/Sculpture, Second Chance
  • Fusion-Art: Into the Wild International Art Exhibition 2018: Second Place/Sculpture, Mourning Erin
  • Fusion-Art International: Artist Spotlight Solo Art Winner 2018
  • The Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, D.C.: 85th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature 2018, Third Place; Playful
  • Society of Animal Artists: Art and the Animal 2017, 57th Annual Members Exhibition: Award of Excellence, Football Buddies     
  • Artists for Conservation: Conservation Artist of the Month for January, 2017
  • American Artists Professional League: 89th Grand National Exhibition 2017: Blick Art Materials Award, Orphans
  • The Miniature Art Society of Florida (MASF) 42nd Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2017; Second Place/Birds & Animals, Elephant Calf
  • Heartland Art Guild:13th Annual International Miniature Art Show 2017  Honorable Mention, Elephant Calf
  • Artists for Conservation: The Art of Conservation Exhibition 2016; Medal of Excellence, Football Buddies
  • American Artists Professional League: 88th Grand National Exhibition 2016, Kathryn Thayer Hobson Award, Football Buddies
  • Academic Artists Association 66th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism 2016: Academic Artists Excellence Award, Mourning Erin
  • The Miniature Art Society of Florida (MASF) 41st Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2016; Second Place Sculpture, Fleeing Gazelle
  • St Augustine Art Association. 7th Annual Nature and Wildlife Exhibit 2016; Honorable Mention, Dionysus
  • Heartland Art Guild: 12th Annual International Miniature Art Show 2016; Honorable Mention, Fleeing Gazelle
  • American Artists Professional League: Portrait Theme Show 2016; Technique/Skill Award, Elephant Keeper
  • Allied Artists of American Annual Exhibition 2015: Elliot Liskin Memorial Award, Wallow     
  • Laumeister Fine Art Competition, Bennington Center for the Arts: Honorable Mention 2015, Ungainly Grace
  • The Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, D.C.: 82nd Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2015, First Place; Fleeing Gazelle
  • Heartland Art Guild: 11th Annual International Miniature Art Show 2015; Special Award for Sculpture, Cheetah Cub
  • American Artists Professional League: Sculpture Theme Show 2015; Degree of Difficulty Award, Locked In Battle
  • Society of Animal Artists: Art and the Animal 2014, 54th Annual Members Exhibition: The Marilyn Newmark Memorial Award for Realistic Sculpture, Orphans  
  • American Artists Professional League: 86th Grand National Exhibition 2014, Frank C. Wright Medal of Honor, Mourning Erin
  • Seaside Art Gallery: 23rd International Miniature Art Show, 2014 Best Sculpture/Metal, Elephant Keeper
  • Wildscape Magazine: Winner, Professional Category & Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011, Mourning Erin
  • Laumeister Fine Art Competition, Bennington Center for the Arts: Honorable Mention 2010, Locked In Battle
  • Artists for Conservation: The Art of Conservation Exhibition 2009: Wildscape Award, Editor’s Choice Runner-up, Final Warning
  • Chaffee Center for the Arts: 42nd Member’s Show 2003, Connie Smith Memorial Award, In His Prime

Photography Awards

  • Fusion-Art: 4th Annual Skies 2020; 3rd Place/Photography, Mombasa 
  • Fusion-Art: 5th Annual Landscapes 2020; 5th Place/Photography, Kilimanjaro Morning  
  • Wildscape Magazine: First Place: Photography Competition 2011, Black & White Category, Portrait of Echo
  • Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008: Semi-finalist, Portrait of Echo
  • Chaffee Center for the Arts: 44nd Member’s Show 2005, Merit Award, Portrait of Echo

 

Major Exhibitions

Society of Animal Artists  
  48th Annual Members Exhibition: Art and the Animal:  2008
  51st Annual Members Exhibition: Art and the Animal: 2011
  54th Annual Members Exhibition: Art and the Animal: 2014
  56th Annual Members Exhibition: Art and the Animal:  2016
  57th Annual Members Exhibition: Art and the Animal: 2017
  59th Annual Members Exhibition: Art and the Animal: 2019
  Animal Impressions at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 2021
  Exhibition at the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum 2020
  Member's Show and Sale at Trailside Galleries, 2017          
 "OUT OF AFRICA" SAA/African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) Sale Show, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Artists for Conservation 
  The Art of Conservation Exhibition: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015,  2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021

National Sculpture Society
  79th Annual Awards Exhibition 2012
  84th Annual Awards Exhibition 2017
  87th Annual Awards Exhibition 2020
  88th Annual Awards Exhibition 2021                                                                                                                                                                    Performance in Sculpture exhibition at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Florida 2013-2015, 2017-2019,   2019-2021    
  Elected Sculptor Members Online Invitational 2018 

Bennington Center for the Arts                                                                                                                                                                                  Art of the Animal Kingdom: 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015
  Wildscapes: 2016, 2017
  Laumeister Fine Art Competition: 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017                      
  Collective Members’ Show 2017                                                                                                                                                                              Small Works Show: 2014, 2015                                                                                          

American Artists Professional League
  86th Grand National Exhibition 2014
  87th Grand National Exhibition 2015
  88th Grand National Exhibition 2016
  89th Grand National Exhibition 2017
  90th Grand National Exhibition 2018
  91st Grand National Exhibition 2019
  92nd Grand National Exhibition 2020
  Sculpture Theme Show 2015
  Portrait Theme Show 2016
  Celebrating the Spirit of America Members Theme Show 2018
  "FAVORITE THINGS" Members Theme Show 2020
  “EXPLORE" Members Theme Show 2021

Allied Artists of America
  102nd Annual Exhibition 2015
  103rd Annual Exhibition 2016
  104th Annual Exhibition 2017
  105th Annual Exhibition 2018  
  106th Annual Exhibition 2019  
  107th Annual Exhibition 2020 
  108th Annual Exhibition 2021 

Academic Artists Association
  66th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism  2016
  67th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism  2017                                                                                                                 
  68th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism  2018  
  69th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism  2019                                                                                                               
  70th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism  2020   
  71st Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism  2021   

Audubon Artists
  2017 Audubon Artists 75th Exhibition
  2018 Audubon Artists 76th Exhibition
  2019 Audubon Artists 77th Exhibition
  2020 Audubon Artists 78th Exhibition
  2021 Audubon Artists 79th Exhibition

Hudson Valley Art Association
    86th Annual National Juried Exhibition 2019  
    87th Annual National Juried Exhibition 2020  
    88th Annual National Juried Exhibition 2021  

Art Renewal Center
   8th International A.R.C. Salon Competition: 2011/2012 Finalist
  13th International ARC Salon Competition 2017/2018 Finalist
  14th International ARC Salon Competition 2019/2020 Finalist
  15th International ARC Salon Competition 2020/2021 Finalist                                                                                                                                                                                                       
St Augustine Art Association
  7th Annual Nature and Wildlife Exhibit 2016
  8th Annual Nature and Wildlife Exhibit 2017
  9th Annual Nature and Wildlife Exhibit 2018

Arnot Art Museum
    76th Regional Exhibition 2019  

ENDANGERED Art and Photography Contest
   Art4apes 2014
   Art4apes 2015
   Art4apes 2016
   Art4apes 2017
   Art4apes 2018
   Art4apes 2019
   Art4apes 2020

The Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, D.C. (MPSGS)
  80th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2013
  81st Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2014
  82nd Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2015
  83rd Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2016 
  84rd Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2017  
  85th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2018  
  86th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2019  
  87th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2020  

The Miniature Art Society of Florida (MASF)  
  39th Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2014
  40th Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2015
  41st Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2016
  42nd Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2017
  43rd Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2018
  44th Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2019
  45th Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2020

Seaside Art Gallery
  23rd International Miniature Art Show, 2014
  24th International Miniature Art Show, 2015
  25th International Miniature Art Show, 2016
  26th International Miniature Art Show, 2017
  27th International Miniature Art Show, 2018
  28th International Miniature Art Show, 2019
  29th International Miniature Art Show, 2020
  30th International Miniature Art Show, 2021                                                                                                            

Northern California Society of Arts in Miniatures                                                                                                     
  The Elizabeth Specht Memorial Miniatures in Mariposa 2020 
  The Elizabeth Specht Memorial Miniatures in Mariposa 2021 

Heartland Art Guild
  11th Annual International Miniature Art Show 2015 
  12th Annual International Miniature Art Show 2016
  13th Annual International Miniature Art Show 2017   
  14th Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2018
  15th Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2019

Rehoboth Art League Corkran Gallery
    Conteporary Miniatures 2019

The Arts & Culture Alliance
    No Bigger Than a Breadbox: Biennial Small Works Show 2021

Fusion-Art
   International "Open" Art Competition 2018     
   Artist Spotlight Solo Art Exhibition 2018  
   Into the Wild International Art Exhibition 2018   
   3rd Annual Group Exhibition 2019  
   4th Annual Animal Kingdom International 2019
   5th Annual Figures & Faces 2019
   2nd Annual Into the Wild International Art Exhibition 2019
   4th Annual Group Exhibition 2020
   5th Annual Animal Kingdom International 2020
   6th Annual Figures & Faces 2020
   6th Annual Artists Choice Exhibition 2021
   3rd Annual Into the Wild International Art Exhibition 2021
   6th Annual Animal Kingdom International 2021   

  Photography   
   5th Annual Landscapes 2020          
   13th Qrtly Art Competition–Sunrises & Sunsets 2020
   4th Annual Skies 2020 
   6th Annual Landscapes 2021

Conroe Art League                                                                                                                                                      
    2020 Madeley National 5th National Invitational Show     
    2021 Madeley National 6th National Invitational Show     

Catamount Arts 
   Annual Arts Connect Juried Show 2018   

Bryan Memorial Gallery
   GEMS 2018
                                                          
Art Kudos  
  13th annual online juried competition 2017

Vermont Institute of Natural Science
  Solo Show 2011-2012

Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year 
  Semi-finalist 2008

Bill Jordan Wildlife Defense Fund
   Featured Wildlife Artist: "The HeART of Wildlife Defense", Madison Wisconsin, 2005

Holland & Holland Art Gallery, New York City,
  Group show: 2003

Wild Wings
   Art Festival: Minnesota 2003