"Art Takes Nature as its Model --- Aristotle "

The Academy of Nature and Wildlife Arts was developed as a 501(c)3 to fill the need for professional atelier style art education for the public combining both arts and science, especially nature.  With the current educational focus on just science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and major educational cutbacks which eliminated many programs in the arts, the Academy was developed to create and support STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) as an approach to studying real world issues in natural history from a very traditional approach of both science and art, together.

This approach allows children and young artists to build art perspectives into the more traditional approaches as they are presented. For the adult learner, the Academy builds on their traditional science background and experiences while providing new perspectives of familiar concepts.  For both audiences, the program encourages self exploration and self expression as both a means to learn more about one's self while at the same time relieving stress of that self.
Combining the arts and sciences provides unique service opportunities within current culture. Arts and sciences combine nicely in working with issues in the natural world with the arts providing the picture "worth a thousand words" and science providing a thousand measurements to create a more complete picture of our world. The Academy and its students support service projects combining the arts and sciences in support of natural history.

The Academy provides:
1. individual class instruction in drawing, painting, photography among other arts focused upon observation,  artistic expression, and scientific understanding,
2. classroom resource programs K-12 combining arts and sciences in practical relatable ways consistent with state and federal educational criteria,
3. Workshops bringing in national artists such as Ann Kullberg's Portraits in Colored Pencils and Julie Howard's innovative pastel techniques
4. Service programs combining arts and sciences such as the Hidden Gems natural history calendar and photographic Scavenger Hunt with exhibit in association with the St Louis County Parks or free classes in photography or drawing in association with Missouri Department of Conservation, 
5. Paint St Louis Invitational Plein Air Festival May 18-20, 2018. This is the first annual National Invitational Plein Air event in the metropolitan area. Co-sponsors include St Louis County Parks, Missouri Botanical Garden, Dick Blick, HECTV, OA Gallery among others. Most of the venues available to the artists will focus on the parks including a sunrise paint out at the Botanical Garden, painting on a working farm at Suson Park, Sunrise at the historic Bissell House, exploring the Confluence and a sunset quick paint over the river bluffs at Belle Fontain Park. Public is welcome to attend and master gardeners or naturalists will be available to relate nature and art,
6. Explore the Arts family event as part of the Paint St Louis Plein Air Festival on May 20, 2018. For the Sunday family event, area arts providers are participating in the opportunity for children and families to explore how different arts relate to nature and provide opportunities to explore various art forms in preparation for the summer planning.

In addition to the educational aspects of the Academy and the Paint St Louis/Explore the Arts Festival, my artwork has supported:

World Bird Sanctuary

Audubon Center at the Riverlands

Endangered Wolf Center

Missouri Wild Horse League

Missouri Department of Conservation

Missouri Master Naturalists

Missouri Master Gardeners as well as others. 

Conservation Projects & Causes

<em>Edit Conservation Project/Cause</em> Missouri Wild Horse League -  | Sandy Brooks

Missouri Wild Horse League

Missouri Wild Horse League is responsible for monitoring the horses, removing any sick or injured animals and supporting the habitat so they can be free ad healthy. This is an all volunteer group that maintains the fields, cares for any sick animal and monitors the herd size. While there is seldom a problem, the group still has expenses related to ahbiat care and veternarian care for the occasionally sick animal. Any donations support the local efforts to maintain this pastoral environment.

<em>Edit Conservation Project/Cause</em> St Louis County Parks  -  | Sandy Brooks

St Louis County Parks

St. Louis County Parks Foundation has been created to support and promote the facilities, programs, capital improvements and resources of the St. Louis County parks; to receive grants, endowments, and contributions; to support and promote volunteer organizations formed in support of the Foundation; to secure facilities, programs, materials, equipment and services in furtherance of the objectives of the Saint Louis County parks.

County Parks completed a multi year study of its properties and identified significant maintanence needs to the grounds as well as significant upgrades to...

<em>Edit Conservation Project/Cause</em> Academy of Nature and Wildlife Arts -  | Sandy Brooks

Academy of Nature and Wildlife Arts

The Academy's educational and conservation mission is supported by donations and fundraising with activities such as the Paint St Louis Plein Air Festival.