Warrington wildlife artist Anita Young was presented with the very first Inaugural Chairman’s Award by the Association of Animal Artists (AAA) at their Annual Dinner in Wrightington, near Wigan, in November. Anita lives in Stockton Heath and paints and teaches from her studio at Higher Whitley. Anita is a painter of the natural world whose work is influenced first and foremost by her deep love of nature. She has an all-consuming passion for wolves, is a dedicated supporter of wild wolf conservation, and promotes the cause at every opportunity through her paintings, workshops, demonstrations and talks.
The Association of Animal Artists was founded in 2009 to offer opportunities and support to animal artists who have already attained a level of expertise and experience, whether as amateurs or professionals, and who wish to promote and exhibit their artwork and further progress their skills. But the aims of the Association are much broader than that, as Julie Cross, current Chair explains –
“We also want to look beyond the artwork and see what our art can do – it truly is art with a purpose. AAA exhibitions openly support our animal welfare and wildlife conservation charity partners by giving charitable donations, but we do so much more. AAA members also have a valuable role in not only supporting these charities (and their own chosen causes), but in giving voice to the issues they promote, raising public awareness and helping us to celebrate and also preserve the animal kingdom that inspires our art – and that really is special.”
The Inaugural Chairman’s Award was conceived as a means of recognising the achievements of an up-and-coming member artist who exemplifies the founding principles of the Association and who has raised the profile of animal art through their work during the past 12 months. As the first recipient of the award, Anita was commended for her sterling work in a number of areas of artistic endeavour and activity this year – for her support of wolf conservation, contributing a percentage of proceeds from sales of painting prints and raising awareness through the narrative painting ‘Glowing Embers of Ice’; for her support of local community projects via donations to the Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation from sales of her previous work ‘Spirit of the Pack’; for her teaching of animal art to individuals and groups; for her participation in numerous art fairs, markets, and demonstration days promoting animal art, and in several AAA exhibitions including their flagship Annual Exhibition which takes place each spring at Castle Park Arts Centre, Frodsham.
Anita was presented with her award, which includes a year’s subscription to The Artist magazine, by the Inaugural Chairman herself – Anne Corless, one of the original founders and Chair of the Association for four years until 2013. Anita expressed her sincere thanks to Anne and the panel of judges for selecting her for this award – “It is wonderful to have the recognition of the Association and makes all the hard work of this last 12-18 months so much more worthwhile. There are lots of exciting new projects already developing on the horizon for 2015. The award has given a boost to my motivation to move forward with renewed confidence – and reassurance that I am travelling in the right direction”.
Anita’s latest work, ‘Glowing Embers of Ice’, will be on display at the Castle Park Open Exhibition in Frodsham which runs until 4th January 2015.
Photos courtesy of Peter Drought : “www.peterdroughtphotography.com“.