Canadian Artist to Study Endangered Species of Galapagos Islands

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Kelly Dodge wins the Artists for Conservation Foundation's Flag Expedition Fellowship to support wildlife conservation and environmental education with her art. Kelly will travel to the Galapagos in late September of 2009 to spend 40 days studying, sketching and photographing the unique animals and plants of the Islands. There she will collaborate with local scientific experts and study the endemic and endangered flora and fauna of the archipelago.

It is my intention to bring a firsthand experience through my art and to share this experience locally, nationally and internationally. I expect that my artistic field research will provide me with the motivation and means to be able to create original pieces of art for many years to come.

The Artists for Conservation Foundation (AFC), is pleased to announce its tenth fellowship involving a grant of $5,000 US, under the AFC Flag Expeditions Program, awarded to wildlife artist Kelly Dodge of Lakefield, Ontario, Canada. The objective of the AFC's Flag Expeditions Program is to make possible the artistic field study and rendering of endangered species or habitats deserving of greater public attention, particularly in remote parts of the world.

Kelly will travel to the Galapagos in late September of 2009 to spend 40 days studying, sketching and photographing the unique animals and plants of the Islands. Her objective is to bridge the gap between science and art through a purposeful expedition of field studies, photographs, and interviews with experts of the region. The final product will be her emotional response to the beauty and wonder of Galapagos through the creation of artwork which will be shared through various ways including art exhibitions, group talks, and the internet.

While in the field she will explore 10 of the 13 larger islands in the archipelago ranging from open sea and rock islets to the six distinct vegetation zones each supporting specific communities of plants and animals while observing, learning about, and artistically documenting as many of the endemic and resident wildlife species as possible. Kelly has also acquired a position as a volunteer for two weeks with the Jatun Sacha Foundation at the San Cristobal Biological Reserve. During this initial period, while working with and under the supervision of biologists and environmental education instructors at the Jatun Sacha Foundation, she will be directly involved in all aspects of daily life at the San Cristobal Biological Reserve, contributing to conservation projects involving habitat restoration, ecological and human dynamic issues. Here Kelly intends to study as much as possible about the zones and the challenges they face, with a goal of further facilitating her independent artistic field research for the duration of her expedition.
Also during her expedition, Kelly will be collaborating with METAMORFOSIS - an international community for the arts based in the Island of Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands - providing free arts education for underprivileged and disadvantaged children.

Kelly, when summarizing her work, professes "It is my intention to bring a firsthand experience through my art and to share this experience locally, nationally and internationally. I expect that my artistic field research will provide me with the motivation and means to be able to create original pieces of art for many years to come."

About the Artists for Conservation Foundation (AFC):
The Artists for Conservation Foundation (AFC) is the world's leading artist collective, dedicated to the environment. Its membership represents 500 of the world's top artists from 27 countries, who focus primarily on nature and wildlife. It reads like a "Who's Who" of nature art, and includes the top names in the field, such as Robert Bateman, John Banovich, Guy Coheleach, Pollyanna Pickering and David Shepherd. For more information about the AFC's innovative initiatives, visit Artists For Conservation.

About the Flag Expeditions Program: The objective of the Flag Expeditions Program is to make possible the artistic field study and rendering of biodiversity deserving of greater public attention with strong emphasis on unique and threatened habitats and rare or endangered species in remote parts of the world. For more information on the AFC Flag Expeditions Program, or sponsorship opportunities, please visit the Expedition Web site at http://www.natureartists.com/flagexpeditions.

For further information:
Artists for Conservation Foundation: http://www.natureartists.com/flagexpeditions
Kelly Dodge: http://www.natureartists.com/dodgek.htm
Jatun Sacha Foundation: http://www.jatunsacha.org

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