Monday, May 31, 2021

Society of Animal Artists New Members Exhibition


Welcome to the Society of Animal Artists’ New Members Exhibition. Founded in 1960, SAA is devoted to promoting excellence in the artistic portrayal of the creatures sharing our planet, and to the education of the public through art exhibitions, informative seminars, lectures and teaching demonstrations. The SAA’s membership, past and present, represents a veritable who’s who of artists from around the world. Twenty-one of our new members are highlighted in this exhibition. Enjoy! —Renee Bemis, (President, Board of Directors, Society of Animal Artists)

Congratulations to these recently elected members who were juried into this online exhibition. Click here to view the exhibition which will be online through November 17th. Previous online exhibitions are archived there too for your viewing. (

Don Alemany

Valentina Andrees

Kimberly Beck

Rose Collins

Jennifer L. Cook


Mikel D. Donahue

Gary J. Eigenberger

Isla Ferrer

John Guiseppi

Kathryn A. Hansen

Rachel Stavrowsky Hurst

Rebecca Korth

David S. LaMure, Jr.

Linda Lunnon

Kathleen M. Maling

Kelly Grace McNeil

Maryann Mullet

Maegan Oberhardt

Gamini Ratnivira

Claudia Roulier

Michael L Todoroff

Monday, February 1, 2021

Announcing New SAA Members for January 2021

The Society of Animal Artists is delighted to announce our newly elected members from the January 2021 jury! The SAA's next jury for new members, will be June 15th, 2021. Please click the artists' names to visit their websites to see more of their work. Artists are listed below in alphabetical order.

Valentina Andrees, Germany ~ Associate Member

Yun Gee Bradley, OR  ~ Associate Member

Rose Collins, AZ  ~ Associate Member

Isla Ferrer, New Zealand  ~ Associate Member

Marco Grasso, Italy  ~ Associate Member


Kathryn A. Hansen, CA ~ Signature Member


Linda Lunnon, Australia  ~ Associate Member

Maryann Mullett, NH  ~ Associate Member

Maegan Oberhardt, Australia  ~ Associate Member

DOL, Belgium  ~ Associate Member

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Joining The Society of Animal Artists

The SAA 58th at the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art

The Society of Animal Artists (SAA), founded in 1960, is devoted to promoting excellence in the artistic portrayal of the creatures sharing our planet, and to the education of the public through art exhibitions, informative seminars, lectures, and teaching demonstrations. The SAA's membership, past and present, represent a veritable who's who of artists from around the world. Membership is open to artists by jury, and the Society has several levels of Patron Memberships.

So Why Join the Society?

1. The camaraderie with fellow artists and like-minded individuals. SAA artists currently number over 525 and represent 23 different countries. Members have regular opportunities to interact with each other online, as well as in-person throughout the year. 

2. Exhibition opportunities in prestigious venues are available to members annually. The Society hosts their flagship Annual Exhibition with opening weekend activities and awards each Fall. The SAA also currently holds several special exhibitions annually. New members are accepted at either Associate or Signature level and are able to be promoted to Distinguished Signature Member, and even the coveted Master Signature Member through participation in SAA Exhibitions. 

The 59th SAA Annual Exhibition at the Briscoe Western Art Museum

3. Informative seminars, demonstrations, presentations are available during the SAA opening weekends. Monthly business panel sessions, artists' studio tours, and advice from experienced artists in the field are offered online to members. 

SAA artist Robert Bateman demonstrating in 2015

SAA artist Paul Ryhmer demonstrating bronze pouring techniques

SAA artist Sharon Fulingim demonstrating stone carving techniques

4. Field trips are planned during opening weekend celebrations, to visit zoos, national parks, and wildlife attractions in the local area. 

On a whale-watching expedition during the 50th Exhibition in San Diego, CA

Playing with lemurs during an opening weekend

5. Recognition and awards ~ Spaces in SAA Exhibitions are limited and chosen by the jury to ensure the highest quality artwork is featured. Awards in the Annual Exhibition are selected by a panel of three museum professionals. Thousands of dollars in award money, purchase awards, magazine editor's choice awards, and the coveted Awards of Excellence are bestowed at each Annual Exhibition. The Awards of Excellence are the sole path to Master Signature Membership within the Society. Participating artists are also featured in the catalog.

6. Building the future ~ SAA members, particularly the leadership, strive to build a foundation of opportunities and knowledge for the next generation of artists. 

Until next time ~ SAA Artist Rachelle Siegrist

Monday, November 30, 2020

Society of Animal Artists International Exhibition


The Gallery page featuring over 50 SAA artists

Since I've been sharing about the history of the SAA this past year, it's exciting to think we are making history with our 60+-year-old organization with our first online-only exhibition! This inaugural exhibition focuses on many of the SAA's international members (those residing outside of the United States). 

"The Society of Animal Artists, founded in 1960, is the most accomplished collection of artists who find inspiration in the birds and animals that share our planet. This worldwide membership of celebrated painters and sculptors represents the very highest level of excellence in virtually all artistic mediums. SAA’s membership includes 500 artists from around the world. This unique exhibition is the inaugural virtual presentation of artwork by many of our members who live and work outside the United States. Included are paintings and sculptures by 54 artists from 19 countries. Enjoy the exhibition!" ReneĆ© Bemis, SAA President, Society of Animal Artists

A close up showing how the map identifies artists by country

World map showing the participating artists from all over the world

Elwin's specific gallery page (above and below)

The exhibition embeds information from Wikipedia about the specific species featured in each artwork. To enjoy viewing the exhibition click on any of the above images or on this link:

Visit the SAA website via this link for information on submitting to the SAA jury for artist membership, or to become a Patron Member of the SAA

Until next time ~ SAA artist Rachelle 

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Enthusiastic Leaders of the SAA


A screenshot of Board members at our recent Zoom meeting.

For the first time in our history due to the pandemic, the SAA Board now meets online via Zoom. While it's not the same as being together in person, we are nonetheless still enjoying it, especially with the convenience and ability to meet more often. Of course, it's great fun to see each other as well as many of our furry and feathered family members who join the meeting at times! It's also nice to glimpse inside many of the member's studios and homes.

There have been at least 115 people, since the SAA began in 1960, that have volunteered their time and efforts to serve their fellow members leading this organization. Unfortunately, we are still trying to locate copies of the earliest records of the SAA from 1960 to 1963. However, from 1964 on, here are some interesting tidbits about the people that have served over the years.

There have been 52 women and 63 men over the years as Board members. While most have been artists, occasionally, non-artists served in an advisory capacity and in more recent times, have been able to serve as full Board members with the exception of not having a vote on membership and exhibition juries. Per the current by-laws, the SAA Board is comprised of no less than 13 and no more than 21 members, and the current Board is represented by 11 women and 7 men. Each Board member serves a 3-year term and is elected by the signature membership. They can choose to run again at the end of each term if they so wish.

A gift from the SAA Board to Joe Vance in 1993

Some Board members truly go above and beyond and are deeply loved by their fellow Board members, as evident in their long term service! The record holder, serving a whopping 44 years in SAA leadership, is Doug Allen. The late Marilyn Newmark served 39 years and the late Joe Vance served 37 years including 10 of which he was president of the Society. The image shown above is a collection of small original artworks from fellow Board members presented to Joe Vance towards the end of his service as SAA President, which is now part of the SAA archives. We tip our hats to these who have dedicated so many years to this wonderful organization!

Of the current Board members, David Rankin has served 29 years and President ReneĆ© Bemis has served 25. There have been several husband and wife teams as well, that has served or is currently serving on the Board. SAA Board meetings are typically pleasant, but can sometimes be contentious. Most require 4 to 8 hours of time, but one did exceed 12 hours, and happily ended with everyone enjoying dinner together. 

I was elected to the SAA Board in 2018, and have enjoyed serving on it. Fortunately all the meeting s I've been a part of have been great fun, and it's exciting planning future events and opportunities for fellow SAA artists!

Until next time ~ SAA artist Rachelle Siegrist