- The Artist
After two years of cancellations due to COVID, the grand Artists for Conservation Exhibition and award banquet finally happened in Tucson. After two years of anticipation, I received the lifetime achievement award from the Artists for Conservation organization I won in 2020.
I guess at this point I should mention that, probably due to the stress of our Coconut Grove adventure, embarrassingly, I came down with shingles! UGH! ( BTW, I strongly recommend taking the shingles vaccine - " shingles "is no fun!!)
Luckily, the really unsightly , painful disfigurement was mainly only on my face and head -LOL !!! Unfortunately, I learned that shingles can get into your eye, and travel up into your brain, blinding you!
Which would be a real problem for my moderately successful art career......
Thank goodness, due to COVID issues ,it was a smaller event than usual at the Arizona Sonora desert Museum in Tucson with only about 100 folks. Thank God most of the ugly disfigurement on my face had mostly healed ,and I only had to deal with the crazy nerve pain on my eyes and head. The museum was awesome ,with areas dedicated to local wildlife, plant life and even an exhibition hall for wildlife art. I have to say that I was very moved by this recognition from 500 artist members from 35 different countries. Jim made a wonderful video to assist them in the presentation ,and I got to meet many of my artistic idols. Jan and Wally were kind enough to drive us down to Tucson to visit the museum and participate in the awards ceremony. Although the organization recognizes all of the wildlife art of its members, I was particularly moved by the wildlife art depicting the challenges wildlife faces today like global warming, and loss of habitat.
Of course, I was certainly honored and excited to get the Artists for Conservation," Simon Combs Award "-which is their highest honor for my work creating , with Jim, ARTS FOR ANIMALS- the most remarkable part of this adventure for me was a hike we did in the Arizona desert with Jan and Wally in a wild horse sanctuary area near the Verde river. After hiking across the dry desert landscape about an hour ,we reached the Verde River and discovered we had happened upon a herd of about 60 wild horses! Unbelievable! You would think, after walking safaris in Africa, coming up on herds of elephant, Cape buffalo and giraffes, seeing these wild horses wouldn't be so awesome. But they definitely were one of the thrills of my life!
Here some photographs of our Arizona adventure......