Wildlife Artists and Environmental Champions Sue Stolberger and Robert Glen to Receive Top Conservation Award

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Internationally recognized artists Robert Glen and Sue Stolberger have been chosen to jointly receive the Artists for Conservation’s (AFC) top honor - the Simon Combes Conservation Artist Award - during a special gala event at the Houston Zoo on April 21st, 2010. The AFC bestows this tribute annually to recognize individual artist members for their dedication to the conservation cause and outstanding artistic achievement. The Artists for Conservation Foundation (AFC) is a non-profit, international organization dedicated to the celebration and preservation of the natural world and is the world’s leading artist collective dedicated to the environment.

Internationally recognized artists Robert Glen and Sue Stolberger have been chosen to jointly receive the Artists for Conservation’s (AFC) top honor: the Simon Combes Conservation Artist Award. The AFC bestows this tribute annually to recognize individual artist members for their dedication to the conservation cause and outstanding artistic achievement.

Glen and Stolberger will jointly receive the award on April 21st, 2010 during a special gala event at the Houston Zoo, marking the official opening of a special exhibition featuring their artwork. The AFC will also make a contribution to the Soysambu Conservancy in Kenya in Simon Combes’ memory.

Glen is a bronze sculptor, known for his dynamic and monument-sized creations. Stolberger is a painter with a distinctive style. The two artist-activists live and work in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania, and specialize in depicting African wildlife. Since their arrival in the Ruaha National Park, Tanzania, in 1994, they have led efforts to protect and preserve the Ruaha river valley and shared a dream of building an environmental center as a base for environmental education and support. Their dream became a reality with the opening of the Idodi Environmental Center in 2007. The solar-powered facility includes a library, a large hall for showing films and lectures, a display area focusing on the environment and a reception room for the headmaster and the teachers. The center is an indispensible asset to the community, and for the school children, the library has become a world of discovery and growth.

Simon Combes was a prominent member of the AFC and 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 killed by a charging Cape Buffalo while hiking near his home in Kenya.
Simon was widely respected as a man of superb artistic talent, a brilliant communicator, writer, instructor, world-traveler, painter, and steward of our planet. We were honored to have had him as a member of our Group.

Each month, the AFC recognizes one of its members for artistic excellence and extraordinary contribution to the conservation cause, with its monthly Conservation Artist Award. The Simon Combes Award represents a selection from within this highly dedicated group of individuals.

The award’s trophy design, the result of a competition among AFC members, was created by Peter Gray of South Africa. Sculpted in clay and founded in bronze with personalized inscription, AFC’s highest award pays a lasting tribute to the man for whom it is named, while honoring, at the same time, an artist member who has demonstrated tremendous commitment in support of conservation, exemplifying the same qualities as the trophy’s namesake.

Previous recipients of the award include David Shepherd of the UK, Canadian painter, Robert Bateman, and American wildlife artist John Banovich.

About the Artists for Conservation Foundation:
The Artists for Conservation Foundation (AFC) is a non-profit, international organization dedicated to the celebration and preservation of the natural world and is the world’s leading artist collective dedicated to the environment. Based in Vancouver, Canada, the Foundation has a membership spanning five continents and nearly thirty countries.

The AFC's mission is to support wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability and environmental education through art that celebrates our natural heritage. The AFC fulfills its mission through programs and exhibitions that raise funds for conservation. The AFC also operates a unique fellowship program supporting artistic field study and rendering of unique, threatened habitats, and rare or endangered species in remote parts of the world. For more information about the AFC’s innovative initiatives, visit http://www.natureartists.com.

About the Houston Zoo:
Recognized by Parents magazine as one of the Ten Best Zoos for Kids, the Houston Zoo is an exciting live animal adventure that provides a unique educational and conservation resource serving 1.7 million guests annually. Set in a 55-acre lush tropical landscape, the Zoo is home to more than 4,500 exotic animals representing more than 800 species. Operated by the not-for-profit Houston Zoo, Inc., the Houston Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of endangered species, the provision of engaging educational opportunities and the creation of stimulating exhibits that broaden the experiences of our guests and encourage their curiosity.

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Jeffrey Whiting

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