Born in Toronto, Robert Bateman has been a keen artist and naturalist from his early days, and is renowned internationally as a force for environmental education and conservation of our natural world. Bateman's artwork has received international critical acclaim and has attracted an enormous and distinguished following. Bateman's realistic painting style, featuring wildlife in its habitat, encourages the viewer to examine the natural world. His work is in many public and private collections, and several art museums. He has had one-man museum shows throughout North America, including an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC; most of these shows have drawn record-breaking crowds. Bateman's art reflects his commitment to ecology. He is a spokesman for many environmental and preservation issues, using his art to raise millions of dollars for these causes. He has been the subject of numerous books and films; his honours and awards include 12 honorary doctorates, 3 schools named after him and Officer of the Order of Canada. Bateman now channels much of his support and efforts to leave a lasting legacy through the Bateman Foundation and the Robert Bateman Centre for Art & Environmental Education in Victoria, Canada.
Bateman has been a Signature Member of AFC since 2005. In 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2017 Bateman served as Patron of the Artists for Conservation Festival. In 2008, he received the organization's highest honor - the Simon Combes Conservation Award, during AFC's inaugural annual exhibit.
"AFC is doing fantastic work. In a world crowded by many who voice concern over the changes to our planet, AFC and its leadership are doers - leading the charge in an international artistic and cultural movement toward understanding, appreciating, and protecting nature's diversity. I applaud AFC's work and am proud to accept this honor in the hope that it might help the cause further."