Friday, September 17, 2010

Art and the Animal 50th wrap-up!

The Society of Animal Artists’

Art and the Animal

50th Annual Exhibition and Celebration

For the almost two hundred artists, guests and patrons in attendance, it was definitely four days to remember! If anyone got bored at the event, it certainly wasn’t the fault of our President, Diane Mason or her husband Bob, our Executive Director. They found a beautiful place for all of us to stay and arranged three days of wonderful animal watching opportunities, topped off by the annual banquet and award presentations.

Artists Julie Bender and Mary Cornish

First on the schedule was whale watching. Two boats filled with animal artists set out on Wednesday morning in typical sunny Southern California weather. Before we were even out into the Pacific Ocean, a large group of California sea lions were spotted lounging on a floating dock. As we were sailing through open water, we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a large pod of bottle-nosed dolphins who really put on a show, sometimes cruising right alongside the boat. As we went on, there was occasional excitement as someone spotted a bird that they had never seen before. A sunfish, or mola, was also a rare and unusual sighting.

Upon reaching our destination for the day, some small islands, the captain told us to be on the lookout for whales. In the meantime, we saw and were able to photograph sea lions, harbor seals, brown pelicans, brown boobies, blue-footed boobies, cormorants, gulls and terns. But only a few people on one boat caught a glimpse of a whale. No matter. We all had a wonderful time!

On Thursday morning, buses took everyone out to the San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park (recently re-named the San Diego Zoo Safari Park), which was founded many years ago as a breeding facility for endangered species, but has since grown into a great public attraction. Many of us took the tram bus tour, which gave us an overview of large paddocks that are home to cheetahs, African elephants, gemsbok, roan antelope, sable antelope, addax and Rothschild giraffes, among others.
The rest of the park was very walkable and contained a wide variety of mammals and birds, including all the big cats and a number of species of eagles.

The world famous San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park was the last, but absolutely not least, animal activity. We arrived in the morning and everyone fanned out to cover as much as they could of this world-class facility, which includes a number of aviaries and open ponds for birds, in addition to the mammal enclosures, reptile collection and children’s zoo. As always, the pandas drew a constant stream of delighted visitors, especially since there is currently a youngster in residence. At the end of the day we all gathered for a lovely outdoor buffet dinner right in the zoo.

Saturday morning began with a continental breakfast at the hotel, followed by the annual membership meeting. The highlight of the morning was a talk by Robert Bateman, who showed us images from his new book and spoke about his art. After lunch came the opportunity we had all been waiting for, viewing the 50th Anniversary edition of “Art and the Animal” at the San Diego Natural History Museum. The show had been installed on three levels of the central atrium, filling the walls, corners and, seemingly, every nook and cranny in between. Many favorable comments were overheard by visitors from the public. The artists felt great pride in seeing, and being a part of, a show that represents the very best animal art being created today.

Toward the end of the afternoon, Robert Bateman once again gave a presentation, this one open to the public, as part of a new lecture series the museum has started on children and nature. Saturday evening saw us gathering in a large ballroom for the final event of the week, a banquet and the presentation of awards by a excellent panel of jurors selected by the Natural History Museum. President Diane Mason was presented with a plaque of appreciation by the board of directors of the Society for her outstanding work as President. Robert Bateman was honored with the Society’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award for his distinguished career both as an artist and advocate for environmental and conservation causes.

As the event wound down, members collected the last signatures for their show catalogs, talked shop or simply chatted together, not wanting the evening to end. The attendees ranged from nationally and internationally known artists of great and varied accomplishment to artists who had been members of the Society for less than a year. But we were all colleagues who had come together for the 50th Anniversary celebration, sharing our love of animals and our appreciation for the privilege of being able to create art with them as our subjects.

See you all next year!
Susan Fox

See more photos of the event on the SAA's facebook page!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Two Members of the SAA ‘Family’ are gone

A sad message from 
the president of the Society of Animal Artists…

It is with a heavy heart and much sadness that I inform everyone about the recent passing of two Society of Animal Artists family members.

Marijane Singer, long-time Patron member and Director of the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum in Oradell, NJ, passed away this past Sunday, September 12, 2010.

Long-time Signature member Robert Salo also passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on September 13, 2010. He lived and breathed the SAA, and was responsible for the SAA Art and the Animal tour coming to Estes Park, CO in 2008. His wife, Jeanne, asks that any memorial contributions in his name be made to the Society of Animal Artists. What a wonderful tribute to his spirit and his devotion to our organization!

-Diane Mason

Marijane Singer

Marijane Singer, a cultural and civic volunteer who was director of the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum in Oradell, a showcase for wildlife art, died Sunday. She was 80.

"We're known internationally but we aren't known locally," Mrs. Singer said in a 2008 interview with The Record, referring to the museum lodged in an 1893 carriage house on the former Blauvelt estate overlooking Kinderkamack Road. "If you aren't into wildlife art, you probably never heard of us."

But wildlife artists heard of Mrs. Singer. She became the museum's director about 25 years ago, after she joined the board of the Blauvelt-Demarest Foundation, a legacy of the philanthropist Hiram Blauvelt. Guy Coheleach, whose work is currently exhibited at the Blauvelt, said Mrs. Singer raised the profile of the museum, one of a handful in the United States dedicated to wildlife art.

"She was influential in getting the Society of Animal Artists, the largest and most proficient group of wildlife artists, to have their annual show at the Blauvelt a couple of times," said Coheleach, of Hobe Sound, Fla. (Read more)

Robert R. Salo

Robert (Bob) Salo's love of nature and wildlife began early. As a boy growing up in Michigan's remote Keweenaw peninsula, Bob spent hours studying and drawing the animals, farms, and forests of that spectacular region.

Following a tour of duty in the U.S. Army, Bob received his first formal art instruction at Meinzinger Art School in Detroit, where he studied under George Rich.

While working for many years as a commercial artist and fine arts illustrator in Detroit and Boston, Bob continued to celebrate his love of nature through wildlife and landscape painting in his free time.

Bob fulfilled a lifelong dream when he moved to the outskirts of Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park. In Colorado he perfected his painting skills, devoting his full time to capturing that area's wildlife and scenery on canvas. His work in Boston introduced him to New England's rural charm and seaside beauty.

Bob Salo's paintings can be found in galleries and museums, as well as in private and corporate collections in the United States and abroad. He is a signature artist member of the Society of Animal Artists [SAA], and has been exhibited in the prestigious national tour ARTS for the PARKS numerous times.

Bob's wife Jeanne has requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Society of Animal Artists, as that was so near-and-dear to Bob's heart. As a member of SAA for nearly 30 years, that is an honor he well deserves.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Art and the Animal opens today!

Art and the Animal
Society of Animal Artists'
50th Annual Exhibition


San Diego Natural History Museum
San Diego, California
September 4 - October 31, 2010


The Society of Animal Artists' 50th Annual Art and the Animal exhibition opens today at the San Diego Natural History Museum in San Diego Califorinia. This is the society's 50th annual exhibition of the world's best wildlife artists. The jury this year had the overwhelming task of selecting from 434 submissions by 256 artists. 

The list of the honored artists is…

Sue deLearie Adair
Al Agnew
John N. Agnew
...Karen Allaben-Confer
Douglas Allen
Charles Allmond
Tom J. Altenburg
William Alther
Paul Apps
Patti Lynn Arbino Julie G. Askew
Gerald G. Balciar
John Banovich
Barbara Lee Banthien
Al Barnes
Robert Bateman
Cheryl Gervais Battistelli
Julie Bell
Renee Bemis
Julie Bender
Linda Besse
Thomas J. Bishop
Allen Blagden
Peta Boyce
Burt Brent
Carel P. Brest van Kempen
George Bruce Bumann
Robert L. Caldwell
Dan Chen
Tim W. Cherry
James Coe
Guy Coheleach
Guy Combes
Randall Louis
Compton Carrie Cook
Robert Anthony Cook
Anni Marie Crouter
Patricia M. Davis
Andrew Wesley Denman
Kim Diment
Paul Bruce Dixon
Mick Doellinger
Kathleen E. Dunn
Lori Anne Dunn
Leslie H. Evans
Melanie Fain
Anne Faust
James Fiorentino
Lindsey Foggett
Susan Fox
Sharon S. Fullingim
Daniel B. Glanz
Veryl Goodnight
Shawn K. Gould
Peter Clinton Gray
Simon David Gudgeon
Hap Hagood
Nancy Halliday
Judith Hartke
Nancy Howe
Cary C. Hunkel
Nicolay Georgievich Ivanov
Pat Jackman
Brian Jarvi
Joni Johnson-Godsy
Lars Ossian Jonsson
James R Kiesow
John Kobald
Kim Kori
Brent A. Langley
Karen Latham
Rebecca Latham
Patsy J. Lindamood

Janeice Linden
Rob James MacIntosh
Roger A. Martin
Jeanette Martone
Walter T. Matia
Chris David McClelland
Jan Martin McGuire
Darin Miller
Terry Miller
Sumner David Misenheimer
Sean Murtha
Ken Newman
Marilyn Newmark
Leo E. Osborne
Dan Ostermiller
Dino Paravano
Victoria A. Parsons
Rick Pas
Patricia Pepin
Louise M. Peterson
David Petlowany
Bryce Pettit
Anne Peyton
John Charles Pitcher
Stephen C. Quinn
Donald Carl Rambadt
David Rankin
Gamini Ratnavira
Diana Reuter-Twining
Paul Rhymer
Martiena R. Richter
Julia Rogers
Linda Rossin
Kenneth R. Rowe
Jonathan Paul Sainsbury
Sherry Salari Sander
Laurence Saunois
Sharon K. Schafer
Lindsay Scott
Sandy Scott
John Seerey-Lester
Cathy Sheeter
Rachelle Siegrist
Wes Siegrist
Kelly Lea Singleton
Roger G. Smith
Morten E. Solberg
Heather D Soos
Lyn St.Clair
Gary Thomas Staab
Pati Stajcar
Eva Stanley
Debbie Lynn Stevens
Tiffany Stevenson
Joseph H. Sulkowski
Mark A Susinno
Francis Edward Sweet
Fred W. Thomas
Dana Lee Thompson
France Tremblay
Debra L. Trent
David H. Turner
Kent Ullberg
Diane S. Versteeg
Lani Vlaanderen
Joe Weatherly
Dale A. Weiler
Sue Westin
Kay Witherspoon
Steve Worthington
Scott Yablonski
Aaron C. Yount

Art and the Animal exhibition

San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego, CA
September 4 - October 31, 2010
A Gala Artist's Reception, open to the public, will be held at the museum on the afternoon of Saturday, September 4, 2010.

- November 20, 2010 - February 21, 2011: The Wildlife Experience, Parker, CO

- March 13 - April 10, 2011: Dunnegan Gallery Of Art, Bolivar, MO

- April 30 - September 5, 2011: Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum Of Natural History, Norman, OK


We hope that you can make it to one of these venues to see this amazing exhibit!

For more information, visit You can also find us on Facebook.