Robert Bateman earns Jay N. “Ding” Darling award for paintings

By Dana Kobilinsky

Wini Kessler, right, stands next to the newest Jay N. “Ding” Darling Award for Wildlife Stewardship Through Art recipient, Robert Bateman and his wife, Birgit.

Nominations for the Jay N. “Ding” Darling Award for Wildlife Stewardship Through Art are open until May 1, 2018. Nominations and supporting materials can be sent via email to awards@wildlife.org.

The 2017 Aldo Leopold Winner Wini Kessler and Northwest Representative of TWS council Harriet Allen presented wildlife artist Robert Bateman with the Jay N. “Ding” Darling Award for Wildlife Stewardship Through Art at his home on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

“It was a magical meeting!” said Kessler, who spent the day with Bateman and his wife Birgit.

Jay N. “Ding” Darling Award for Wildlife Stewardship Through Art recipient Robert Bateman shows Kessler and Allen one of his paintings. Image courtesy of Wini Kessler.

Bateman received the award for his nature and wildlife-themed paintings. His painting style started off as abstract, but in the 1960s, he changed his style to realism. Around the same time, he began traveling around the world — to Africa, India, Southeast Asia and Australia — where he painted and sketched the wildlife and natural elements he saw.

Bateman’s art soon gained him the recognition of the Smithsonian Institution as well as the recognition of the Audubon Society of Canada when they declared him one of the top 100 environmental proponents of the 20th century in 1999. The use of his art to promote wildlife conservation earned him this award from The Wildlife Society.

The Jay N. “Ding” Darling Award for Wildlife Stewardship Through Art, created in 2015, recognizes artists who, like Darling, promote wildlife and habitat conservation through art. Darling did this through creation of the Federal Duck Stamp Program, his broadly recognized cartoons advocating for wildlife conservation and other recognized work.

Bateman uses much of his artwork to fund conservation efforts, and he serves as the honorary chairman of the Bateman Foundation, a conservation group founded in honor of his life and work.

Dana KobilinskyDana Kobilinsky is a science writer at The Wildlife Society. Contact her at dkobilinsky@wildlife.org with any questions or comments about her article. You can follow her on Twitter at @DanaKobi.

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