Honours & Accolades

Mark Hobson Receives Artists for Conservation's Highest Honour

Mark Hobson Receives Artists for Conservation's Highest Honour

Mark was chosen to receive the Artists for Conservation’s (AFC) top honour for 2017: the Simon Combes Conservation Artist Award.  AFC bestows this tribute annually to recognize members for their dedication to the conservation cause and outstanding artistic achievement.

A strong advocate for preserving the wilderness that he loves to paint, Mark has donated numerous paintings and much of his time to efforts to preserve natural environments.

Upon receiving the award Mark said, 'Receiving the Simon Combes award is a huge honour and to be honest a bit overwhelming. Most the previous 10 award winners are world renown artists and activists who have been among my greatest heroes, including Simon himself who I met in the 1990s . To be travelling in their footsteps and to be offered this recognition by my artistic peers is indeed deeply touching. Hopefully through this award attention can be brought to bare on the issues that continue to concern the health of the British Columbia coastline.'

AFC President and Founder, Jeff Whiting asserts: “Mark is a superb candidate for the Combes award. Like Simon himself, he is both highly respected in the artistic community and in the conservation community, where he has tirelessly dedicated himself to conserving wildlife and ancient forests and supporting the work of many leading conservation organizations. Since the eighties, Mark has envisioned and led multiple artistic movements, bringing artists and conservation scientists together to inspire popular support for saving lands. We are very proud to acknowledge Mark’s lifetime of commitment to nature through his art.”

Notably, in 1989, Mark spearheaded a paint-in with 100 artists and a book to protest the logging of B.C.’s Carmanah Valley, near Clayoquot Sound; one of the last great ancient forest tracts. The initiative was highly publicized and played a pivotal role in the creation of a new park and protection of some 80% of the forest. In 2012, in partnership with the Raincoast Conservation Society, Mark again spearheaded an artistic initiative that included a touring exhibit, a book, and a film to protect the Great Bear Rainforest, the only habitat of the “Spirit Bear” or Kermode Bear and the largest remaining tract of temperate rainforest, from a planned diluted bitumen pipeline. The pipeline project and subsequent tanker traffic were cancelled in 2016.

Mark has won many awards for his artwork in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Over twenty of his wildlife images have been printed by Ducks Unlimited as fund-raising limited edition prints and in 2006 he was chosen as their Artist of the Year. On three occasions he has won the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s stamp competition and the Royal Canadian Mint has four times invited him to design coins for their collector’s editions. The National Geographic Society has displayed his work in Washington D.C. Mark is a signature member of the Canadian Federation of Artists and was selected as a member of the Society of Animal Artists in 1997. He was B.C.’s Wildlife Artist of the Year in 1996 and four times Artist’s Magazine annual competition has awarded his wildlife images high honours.

Born in Vancouver in 1953 he grew up in various parts of B.C. alternating with living around the world in locations as far flung as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Portugal. Mark lives in Tofino where he has painted professionally for over thirty years. In order to find uninterrupted time to paint Mark travels north from Tofino into the heart of Clayoquot Sound to his floating studio which is surrounded by wilderness, offering endless inspiration and the solitude to be creative.

About The Award

AFC’s Simon Combes Conservation Award is the most prestigious award and highest honour AFC presents to an artist member who has shown artistic excellence and extraordinary contributions to the conservation cause, exemplifying the same qualities as the award’s namesake.  A prominent member of AFC, Simon Combes was Project Director of the Kenya chapter of the Rhino Rescue Trust, an organization founded in 1985 to protect endangered species from being poached, and to help the communities surrounding Lake Nakuru National Park affected by wildlife conflicts. On December 12th, 2004, Simon was tragically killed by a charging Cape Buffalo while hiking near his home in Kenya.

The award's trophy design, the result of a competition among AFC members, was created by Peter Gray. Depicting two wildebeests emerging from a mass and fragmenting slightly to indicate the fragility of our efforts to sustain the wilderness areas and the disappearing herds, the trophy is sculpted in clay and founded bronze with a personalized inscription.

About Artists for Conservation

Artists for Conservation (AFC) is the world's leading group of artists supporting the environment. Founded in 1997, the non-profit organization comprises a membership of 500 of the world's most gifted nature artists from 27 countries, across five continents. Dedicated to nurture, promote and leverage its world-class community of artists in support of our natural world, AFC drives its mission through three key programs: Art & Environmental Education; Field Work & Research; and Artist Development. The Artists for Conservation Festival is AFC's annual flagship initiative to showcase, support and further these programs. For more information visit artistsforconservation.org.

Article Credit: Taken from AFC Press Release
Photo Credit: theclayman.com

2014 Salmon Conservation Stamp Art Competition

Steelhead: Stealing Fresh Eggs was Mark’s entry into to the 2014 Salmon Conservation Stamp Art Competition and was awarded 2nd place.

Congratulations to Salt Spring Island wildlife artist W. Allan Hancock who won first prize and will have his work featured on the Salmon Stamp. You can see Allan's entry on the Pacific Salmon Foundation website.

Some of B.C.'s top wildlife artists are invited every November to compete for this prestigious honor and $6,000 prize money. The winning image is printed as a stamp and a limited edition print. The $6.30 stamp is attached to all salt water salmon licences and just over a dollar of that is returned to the Pacific Salmon Foundation for salmon restoration work. Since the program was started in 1989 well over 10 million dollars have been generated by the program for a wide range of projects directed at maintaining the health of the five species of Pacific Salmon and sea going trout.

Coho Dodging Kelp

2013 Salmon Conservation Stamp Art Competition

Coho: Dodging Kelp was Mark’s entry into to the 2013 Salmon Conservation Stamp Art Competition and was awarded 2nd place.

Congratulations to Vancouver wildlife artists Bill Munsie and Tak Shoji. 
Bill, who won first prize and will have his work featured on the Salmon Stamp and Tak placed third.  You can see their entries on the Pacific Salmon Foundation blog.

Some of B.C.'s top wildlife artists are invited every November to compete for this prestigious honor and $6,000 prize money. The winning image is printed as a stamp and a limited edition print. The $6.30 stamp is attached to all salt water salmon licences and just over a dollar of that is returned to the Pacific Salmon Foundation for salmon restoration work. Since the program was started in 1989 well over 10 million dollars have been generated by the program for a wide range of projects directed at maintaining the health of the five species of Pacific Salmon and sea going trout.

 

 

Stellar's Jay on Alder Tree

Steller's Jay: Among Alders Chosen for AFC Book Cover

Artists For Conservation announced that Mark's "Steller's Jay: Among Alders" painting has been selected for the cover of the 2012 Art of Conservation Exhibit Book. The annual hardcover "coffee-table" book is published on sustainably forested paper, as a companion to the 5th annual AFC Exhibit, showing in Vancouver, B.C. running October 13th thorough to October 21st.

The artbook, which can be ordered online, features images of all the art on display at the 2012 AFC Festival and virtual show.  The orginal has sold but this stunning piece is available as a limited edition giclée reproduction.

"There are hundreds of outstanding artists within the ranks of the AFC whose work I have long admired, and so I am deeply honored to have my work chosen to grace the cover of the 2012 AFC annual publication," says Mark.

AFC President, Jeff Whiting explains: "Mark is a long-time supporter and member of AFC and an exemplary leader in our community, having dedicated his life to communicating the beauty of our natural history and leading important conservation initiatives to protect iconic natural areas. His artwork is visually stunning and captures the natural essence of Canada's Pacific Northwest habitat."

Mark is currently championing the protection of Canada's west coast wilderness, having envisioned and organized an expedition with fifty artists - some of Canada's most celebrated and many of whom are of First Nations heritage. His efforts are bringing attention to the dramatic beauty and fragile diversity of the remote coastal wilderness of northern and central B.C. that would be at risk with proposed super-tanker traffic through rough and perilously narrow channels. Eight fellow Signature Members of Artists for Conservation participated.

International Artist Magazine

Over the years Mark's work has appeared on the covers of various magazines, phone books and other publications with several feature articles on his work.

The 2010 August/September issue of International Artist Magazine (published in Australia) has done the most extensive review to date of Mark's work, devoting 12 pages of their magazine to his inspiration, techniques and floating studio.

Salmon Conservation Stamp Collection Competition Winner

Mark won the 20th Salmon Conservation Stamp Competition (2010) sponsored annually by the Pacific Salmon Foundation. The announcement was made in the Globe and Mail on December 21, 2009.

Fifteen of B.C.'s top wildlife artists are invited every November to compete for this prestigious honor and $6,000 prize money. The winning image is printed as a stamp and a limited edition print. The $6.30 stamp is attached to all salt water salmon licences and just over a dollar of that is returned to the Pacific Salmon Foundation for salmon restoration work. Since the program was started in 1989 well over 10 million dollars have been generated by the program for a wide range of projects directed at maintaining the health of the five species of Pacific Salmon and sea going trout. This is the third time the competition has been won by Mark. Previously 2003 and 2005 were also years when the stamp image was a Hobson painting.

Signature Status!

In March of 2009 Mark was honoured by the Federation of Canadian Artists and awarded Signature Status. This is the highest category attainable by the federation and recognizes an artist's overall outstanding artistic achievement.

International Artist Magazine Competition #51 - Rivers, Lakes, and Seascapes

The June - July 2009 issue of International Artist Magazine published Mark's painting titled "Lismer Bay in Winter" and awarded the image Third Place in their competition on Seascapes, Rivers and Lakes.

Royal Canadian Mint Features Mark Hobson's Work

In January 2008 The Royal Canadian Mint launched a new Canadian coin designed by Mark Hobson. This new aureate dollar features a pair of Common Eiders, a duck species frequently seen on the east coast of the country. It is available as a specimen set with six other Canadian coins presented in a maroon coloured case and limited to 40,000 worldwide. Most post office outlets have the new coin on display.

This is the fourth wildlife design Mark has done for the Royal Canadian Mint. Previous images included Tufted Puffins, Pronghorn Antelope and Muskox.

Ducks Unlimited 2006 Artist of the Year

Two of Mark Hobson's images were chosen by Ducks Unlimited Canada for the National Art Program for 2006. The artist’s proofs of the chosen images are available from the artist. "Mallards: Looking South" was awarded the 2006 Artist of the Year award. "Polar Bear: At the Edge of the Ice" was chosen for the Portfolio Artists Category.

Canadian Wildlife Conservation Organization Stamp Program

The Canadian Wildlife Conservation Organization chose two of Mark's images for its 2006 Stamp Program for fundraising efforts. The images chosen were "The Screech Owl" for British Columbia and "The Common Snipe" for Nova Scotia.