This year’s Young & Wild category winners in the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s (DSWF) annual Wildlife Artist of the Year competition have donated their conservation prize money to some fabulous causes. The two category winners each received £500 plus £5,000 to donate to the DSWF projects of their choice, all generously sponsored by Animal Friends Insurance.
David Nuttall, from Bournemouth, whose work ‘Early Bird’ was a unanimous favourite among Animal Friends Insurance staff, said: “My first thought was to give all the money to help save the Amur tiger as they are my favourite animals. But, when I thought a little harder, I realised that so many other animals need help so I’ve split the money between Amur tigers, rhino in Assam and the elephant project in Zambia.”
Madeline Mackay from Dundee, whose untitled work of a snake was selected by the DSWF judging panel said: “It was very hard to choose because all the projects support such great causes. But I’ve chosen the snow leopard project in Mongolia because of the way it integrates local people into saving these fabulous big cats.”
All DSWF supported projects work to protect endangered wildlife through anti-poaching and education programmes while engaging local people to ensure a sustainable future for the wildlife that shares their landscape. These generous contributions, made possible by Animal Friends Insurance, will help fund the on-going work to build a better future for endangered wildlife.
Commenting on the donations made by this year’s winners, wildlife artist and founder of DSWF, David Shepherd CBE said: “It is so thrilling when art and conservation come together in this way. The foundation has grown from my passion to give something back to the animals that helped establish me as an artist and to see it come to fruition like this is wonderful. A huge thank you to Animal Friends Insurance for making this happen and for encouraging the next generation to think about the importance of conservation.”
“We’re delighted that Animal Friends sponsorship of the Young & Wild category has been able to give so much back; not only to two young artists at the beginning of their careers but also to the amazing wildlife that inspires so many of us,” says Elaine Fairfax Managing Director of Animal Friends Insurance.
DSWF’s Wildlife Artist of the Year competition is open to all amateur and professional artists over the age of 17. Shortlisted entries will be exhibited at the prestigious Mall Galleries, London in June 2014. Full details of the 2014 competition will be available at www.davidshepherd.org soon. Closing date for entries is 20th January 2014.
PHOTOS courtesy of DSWF – L-R – David Shepherd CBE, David Gower OBE, Young & Wild winners, Elaine and Chris Fairfax of Animal Friends Insurance at the 2013 Wildlife Artist of the Year awards night