Biography

Douglas Aja has been sculpting African wildlife since the late 1990s. Since that time he donates a portion of the sales proceeds to various conservation organizations as well as donates sculptures for fund raising events. Though he sculpts a variety of species, he specializes in the African elephant. Many elephants are known individuals from Amboseli National Park in Kenya. He has been a longtime supporter of Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE), ElephantVoices and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT). In 2015 he donated a bronze sculpture (Orphans) to DSWT for a fund raising event hosted at London's Landmark Hotel.

Recently he has begun supporting Action for Cheetahs in Kenya (ACK) and Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF). In 2015, he designed and sculpted three bas relief plaques for Laikipia Wildlife Forum. These plaques are given to LWF donors in their highest three donor categories. Aja's bronze sculptures are in the private collections of elephant researchers Cynthia Moss and Joyce Poole, wildlife cinematographer Martyn Colbeck, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Bennington Center for the Arts and NBA great and Basketball Hall of Famer Sam Jones.

Traveling to Africa for the first time in 1978, Doug took part in a wilderness education program with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). There he studied wilderness and mountaineering skills, outdoor leadership, minimum impact camping and Kenya's culture. He continues to visit East Africa regularly to take photos, gather reference material and to further his knowledge and understanding of his subjects. He often backpacks on Mount Kenya, through Maasailand and has climbed Kilimanjaro.

Artists Affiliations: 

Signature Member: Society of Animal Artists (SAA), Signature Member: Artists for Conservation (AFC), Elected Member: National Sculpture Society (NSS), Fellow: American Artists Professional League (AAPL), Elected Member: Allied Artists of America (AAA), The Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington (MPSGS), Artists Against Extinction

Support for Conservation: 
  • Supporter of Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Elephant Voices, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Action for Cheetahs in Kenya and Laikipia Wildlife Forum.
  • 2015: Harambee 2015 DSWT fundraiser: Donated bronze "Orphans", Sold for $3,800.
  • 2015: Laikipia Wildlife Forum: Donated time designing and sculpting three bas relief plaques for LWF's highest three donor categories; Kifaru, Ndovu and Simba. These plaques will be cast at Kim Bronze Sculptures Studio.
  • 2015: Action for Cheetahs in Kenya: Donated Cheetah sculptures.
  • 2009: October; Fundraiser for Elephants and ElephantVoices with Dr. Joyce Poole. Presented by the Los Angeles Alliance for Elephants. Donated bronze elephant "Battle Weary". Donated photographs; "Echo" and " Through the Shadows".
  • 2008: October; Fundraiser for Elephants and ElephantVoices with Dr. Joyce Poole. Donated bronze elephant "Echo & Calf".

 

Special Achievements: 

Sculpture Awards                  

  • Fusion-Art: 4th Annual Animal Kingdom International 2019, Best in Show/Sculpture, Dionysus    
  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Competition 2019, Finalist
  • Rehoboth Art League Corkran Gallery:Conteporary Miniatures 2019, Honorable Mention, Playful
  • Academic Artists Association: 69th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism  2019: Merit Award, Echo & Calf    

  • Audubon Artists: 2018 Audubon Artists 76th Exhibition: Council of American Artist Societies Traditional Figurative Gold Award, Dionysus  
  • American Artists Professional League: Celebrating the Spirit of America Members Theme Show 2018:  Best in Show, Money in the Bank  
  • Academic Artists Association: 68th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism  2018:  Materials Award, Football Buddies
  • Fusion-Art: International "Open" Art Competition 2018: Best in Show/Sculpture, Second Chance
  • Fusion-Art: Into the Wild International Art Exhibition 2018: Second Place/Sculpture, Mourning Erin
  • Fusion-Art International: Artist Spotlight Solo Art Winner 2018
  • The Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, D.C.: 85th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature 2018, Third Place; Playful
  • Society of Animal Artists: Art and the Animal 2017, 57th Annual Members Exhibition: Award of Excellence, Football Buddies     
  • Artists for Conservation: Conservation Artist of the Month for January, 2017
  • American Artists Professional League: 89th Grand National Exhibition 2017: Blick Art Materials Award, Orphans
  • The Miniature Art Society of Florida (MASF) 42nd Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2017; Second Place/Birds & Animals, Elephant Calf
  • Heartland Art Guild:13th Annual International Miniature Art Show 2017  Honorable Mention, Elephant Calf
  • Artists for Conservation: The Art of Conservation Exhibition 2016; Medal of Excellence, Football Buddies
  • American Artists Professional League: 88th Grand National Exhibition 2016, Kathryn Thayer Hobson Award, Football Buddies
  • Academic Artists Association 66th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism 2016: Academic Artists Excellence Award, Mourning Erin
  • The Miniature Art Society of Florida (MASF) 41st Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2016; Second Place Sculpture, Fleeing Gazelle
  • St Augustine Art Association. 7th Annual Nature and Wildlife Exhibit 2016; Honorable Mention, Dionysus
  • Heartland Art Guild: 12th Annual International Miniature Art Show 2016; Honorable Mention, Fleeing Gazelle
  • American Artists Professional League: Portrait Theme Show 2016; Technique/Skill Award, Elephant Keeper
  • Allied Artists of American Annual Exhibition 2015: Elliot Liskin Memorial Award, Wallow     
  • Laumeister Fine Art Competition, Bennington Center for the Arts: Honorable Mention 2015, Ungainly Grace
  • The Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, D.C.: 82nd Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2015, First Place; Fleeing Gazelle
  • Heartland Art Guild: 11th Annual International Miniature Art Show 2015; Special Award for Sculpture, Cheetah Cub
  • American Artists Professional League: Sculpture Theme Show 2015; Degree of Difficulty Award, Locked In Battle
  • Society of Animal Artists: Art and the Animal 2014, 54th Annual Members Exhibition: The Marilyn Newmark Memorial Award for Realistic Sculpture, Orphans  
  • American Artists Professional League: 86th Grand National Exhibition 2014, Frank C. Wright Medal of Honor, Mourning Erin
  • Seaside Art Gallery: 23rd International Miniature Art Show, 2014 Best Sculpture/Metal, Elephant Keeper
  • Wildscape Magazine: Winner, Professional Category & Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011, Mourning Erin
  • Laumeister Fine Art Competition, Bennington Center for the Arts: Honorable Mention 2010, Locked In Battle
  • Artists for Conservation: The Art of Conservation Exhibition 2009: Wildscape Award, Editor’s Choice Runner-up, Final Warning
  • Chaffee Center for the Arts: 42nd Member’s Show 2003, Connie Smith Memorial Award, In His Prime

Photography Awards

  • Wildscape Magazine: First Place: Photography Competition 2011, Black & White Category, Portrait of Echo
  • Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008: Semi-finalist, Portrait of Echo
  • Chaffee Center for the Arts: 44nd Member’s Show 2005, Merit Award, Portrait of Echo

 

Major Exhibitions

Society of Animal Artists  

  • 48th Annual Members Exhibition: Art and the Animal: 2008
  • 51st Annual Members Exhibition : Art and the Animal: 2011
  • 54th Annual Members Exhibition : Art and the Animal: 2014
  • 56th Annual Members Exhibition: Art and the Animal: 2016
  • 57th Annual Members Exhibition : Art and the Animal: 2017
  • 59th Annual Members Exhibition: Art and the Animal: 2019
  • Member's Show and Sale at Trailside Galleries: 2017
  • "OUT OF AFRICA" SAA/African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) Sale Show: 2016

Artists for Conservation

  • The Art of Conservation Exhibition: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019

National Sculpture Society

  • 79th Annual Awards Exhibition 2012
  • 84th Annual Awards Exhibition 2017
  • Performance in Sculpture exhibition at the David A. Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Florida 2013-2015, 2017-2019

Bennington Center for the Arts

  • Art of the Animal Kingdom: 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015
  • Wildscapes: 2016, 2017
  • Laumeister Fine Art Competition: 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Collective Members’ Show 2017
  • Small Works Show: 2014, 2015

American Artists Professional League

  • 86th Grand National Exhibition 2014
  • 87th Grand National Exhibition 2015
  • 88th Grand National Exhibition 2016
  • 89th Grand National Exhibition 2017
  • 90th Grand National Exhibition 2018
  • Sculpture Theme Show 2015
  • Portrait Theme Show 2016
  • Celebrating the Spirit of America Members Theme Show 2018

Allied Artists of America

  • 102nd Annual Exhibition 2015
  • 103rd Annual Exhibition 2016
  • 104th Annual Exhibition 2017
  • 105th Annual Exhibition 2018
  • 106th Annual Exhibition 2019

Academic Artists Association

  • 66th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism 2016
  • 67th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism 2017
  • 68th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism 2018
  • 69th Annual National Exhibition of Traditional Realism 2019

St Augustine Art Association

  • 7th Annual Nature and Wildlife Exhibit 2016
  • 8th Annual Nature and Wildlife Exhibit 2017
  • 9th Annual Nature and Wildlife Exhibit 2018

Art Renewal Center

  • 8th International A.R.C. Salon Competition: 2011/2012 Finalist
  • 13th International ARC Salon Competition 2017/2018 Finalist
  • 14th International ARC Salon Competition 2019/2020 Finalist

Audubon Artists

  • 2017 Audubon Artists 75th Exhibition
  • 2018 Audubon Artists 76th Exhibition

ENDANGERED Art and Photography Contest

  •  Art4apes 2014
  •  Art4apes 2015
  •  Art4apes 2016
  •  Art4apes 2017 
  •  Art4apes 2018

The Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, D.C. (MPSGS)

  • 80th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2013
  • 81st Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2014
  • 82nd Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2015
  • 83rd Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2016
  • 84rd Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2017
  • 85th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature, 2018

The Miniature Art Society of Florida (MASF)  

  • 39th Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2014
  • 40th Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2015
  • 41st Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2016
  • 42nd Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2017
  • 43rd Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2018
  • 44th Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2019

Seaside Art Gallery

  •  23rd International Miniature Art Show, 2014
  •  24th International Miniature Art Show, 2015
  •  25th International Miniature Art Show, 2016
  •  26th International Miniature Art Show, 2017
  •  27th International Miniature Art Show, 2018
  •  28th International Miniature Art Show, 2019

Heartland Art Guild

  • 11th Annual International Miniature Art Show 2015
  • 12th Annual International Miniature Art Show 2016
  • 13th Annual International Miniature Art Show 2017   
  • 14th Annual International Miniature Art Show 2018
  • 15th Annual International Miniature Art Show, 2019

Fusion-Art

  • International "Open" Art Competition 2018
  • Artist Spotlight Solo Art Exhibition 2018  
  • Into the Wild International Art Exhibition 2018    
  • 4th Annual Animal Kingdom International 2019
     

Catamount Arts 

  •  Annual Arts Connect Juried Show 2018  

Bryan Memorial Gallery

  • GEMS 2018

Art Kudos

  • 13th annual online juried competition 2017

Vermont Institute of Natural Science

  • Solo Show 2011-2012

Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year

  • Semi-finalist 2008

Bill Jordan Wildlife Defense Fund

  • Featured Wildlife Artist: "The HeART of Wildlife Defense", Madison Wisconsin, 2005

Holland & Holland Art Gallery, New York City,

  • Group show: 2003

Wild Wings

  • Art Festival: Minnesota 2003