Mark Hobson to Receive AFC's Highest Honor

Vancouver, BC CANADA - Sept 1, 2017  - Internationally recognized Canadian artist Mark Hobson has been chosen to receive the Artists for Conservation’s (AFC) top honor: the Simon Combes Conservation Artist Award.  AFC bestows this tribute annually to recognize artist members for their dedication to the conservation cause and outstanding artistic achievement. 

A strong advocate for preserving the wilderness he loves to paint, Mark has donated numerous paintings and much of his time to efforts to preserve natural environments.

AFC President and Founder, Jeff Whiting asserts: “Mark is a superb candidate for the Combes award. Like Simon himself, he is both highly respected in the artistic community, and in the conservation community, where he has tirelessly dedicated himself to conserving wildlife and ancient forests and supporting the work of many leading conservation organizations. Since the eighties, Mark has envisioned and led multiple artistic movements, bringing artists and conservation scientists together, to inspire popular support for saving lands. We are very proud to acknowledge Mark’s lifetime of commitment to nature through his art”

Notably, in 1989, Mark spearheaded a paint-in with 100 artists and book to protest the logging of BC’s Carmanah Valley, near Clayoquot Sound – one of the last great ancient forest tracts. The initiative was highly publicized and played a pivotal role in the creation of a new park and protection of some 80% of the forest. In 2012, in partnership with Raincoast Conservation Society, Mark again spearheaded an artistic initiative that included a touring exhibit, book and film, to protect the Great Bear Rainforest – only habitat of the “Spirit Bear” or Kermode Bear and the largest remaining tract of temperate rainforest – from a planned diluted bitumen pipeline. The pipeline project and subsequent tanker traffic were cancelled in 2016.

Mark lives in Tofino, B.C. Canada on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, where he has painted professionally for over thirty years. Born in Vancouver in 1953 he grew up in various parts of B.C. alternating with living around the world in locations as far flung as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Portugal. Mark’s does much of his painting on a floating studio, surrounded by wilderness.

Mark’s artwork has won many awards for his artwork in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Over twenty of his wildlife images have been printed by Ducks Unlimited as fund-raising limited edition prints and in 2006 he was chosen their Artist of the Year. On three occasions he has won the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s stamp competition and the Royal Canadian Mint has four times invited him to design coins for their collector’s editions. The National Geographic Society has displayed his work in Washington D.C. Mark is a signature member of the Canadian Federation of Artists and was selected as a member of the Society of Animal Artists in 1997. He was B.C.’s Wildlife Artist of Year in 1996 and four times Artist’s Magazine annual competition has awarded his wildlife images high honours.

Mark’s years of experience teaching high school have transferred smoothly to the teaching of art classes. The workshops Mark offers two or three times a year are frequently fully booked and enthusiastically received by participants. Many have been to overseas locations including Ireland,  Svalbard,  Croatia and the Galapagos Islands as well as boat excursions off the BC coast.

AFC’s Simon Combes Conservation Award is the most prestigious award and highest honour AFC presents to an artist member who has shown artistic excellence and extraordinary contributions to the conservation cause, exemplifying the same qualities as the award’s namesake.  A prominent member of AFC, Simon Combes was Project Director of the Kenya chapter of the Rhino Rescue Trust, an organization founded in 1985 to protect endangered species from being poached, and to help the communities surrounding Lake Nakuru National Park affected by wildlife conflicts. On December 12th, 2004, Simon was tragically killed by a charging Cape buffalo while hiking near his home in Kenya.

Mark Hobson will be recognized during the Artists for Conservation Festival opening reception on November 9th, 2017 in Vancouver, BC. 

Learn more about Mark through his AFC website at

Artists for Conservation
Artists for Conservation (AFC) is the world's leading group of artists supporting the environment. Founded in 1997, the non-profit organization comprises a membership of 500 of the world's most gifted nature artists from 27 countries, across five continents. Dedicated to nurture, promote and leverage its world-class community of artists in support of our natural world, AFC drives its mission through three key programs: Art & Environmental Education; Field Work & Research; and Artist Development. The Artists for Conservation Festival is AFC's annual flagship initiative to showcase, support and further these programs. For more information, visit


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