Anne London can't remember the day she decided she would be an artist.
I have always known, even as a small child, where my destiny was headed, says wildlife artist, A.E. London.
Anne's artistic abilities were apparent at an early age when she began selling her art professionally in Los Angels while still in Junior High School. She graduated from California State University, developing her artistic talent under the tutelage of renowned artist and educator, Saul Bernstein.
Following a different path led her, from an early film industry career in Los Angles to working with the film actress, Tippi Hedren, founder of Shambala - a refuge for big cats, elephants, and many other endangered species. It was there London realized that she could combine her two passions; art and animals. Since then, she has developed a remarkable career as an internationally recognized artist, and champion of animal conservation.
Her immigrant parents had encouraged her to expand her talents as they explored their new country and its wildlife, and those combined interests have taken her to Africa, Asia and all over the Americas in pursuit of her subject matter- endangered species.
"The commercial art world was not for me," she says," All I could think about were these animals and the problems they were facing as a species. I wanted future generations to be able to experience the magnificence of seeing these beautiful animals living in their native habitat.
Anne's mission has led her repeatedly to Africa, Asia, and other wild locations - to witness firsthand and record the face of nature through her " Portraits of the Wild ".
Her current body of work using charcoal and water media evolved from years of meticulously handcrafting her highly acclaimed work in engraving. "I loved the classic stunning effect of engraved art but the process was just too wearing on my body. It was an obstacle that turned into a blessing when I saw how my artistic expression changed and how much more alive my art became."
Each year for the past 40 years, Anne has traveled across the nation, exhibiting at 20 to 35 art shows and keeping in touch with her friends and collectors as well as maintaining her ties with the zoo and conservation community. In these, often museum sponsored, events she has won hundreds of "Best in Show" awards.
She travels to Africa regularly, bringing back her field sketches and basing the next year's work on them. She has earned awards across the nation, including the prestigious Award Of Excellence given by the Society of Animal Artists, and has been featured in magazines such as Wildlife Art News ,Edge Magazine, and The Wildlife Journal. Chosen several times by the Society of Animal Artists for "The Art and The Animal Tour ", her work has gained critical acclaim by both the art world and the scientific community. She has been featured on Animal Planet and broadcast television.
"When I look at a lion, I see its uniqueness as an intelligent being. All animals have a rich interior life full of emotions–to ignore that fact is to miss something significant we share".
Looking at one of Anne's pieces, one of the first elements that a viewer connects with is the animal's personal nature and emotion. Years of studying wildlife anatomy in native habitats and in surgeries have honed her anatomical skills, but it's the intimate connection the viewer feels with the subject that she uniquely brings to the easel. She strives to create a genuine empathy for what she calls, “the other earthlings”.
Anne's journeys led her to the "wilds of Louisiana" where she moved to join her fiancé, Jim Hart, in 2010. Anne and Jim, both experienced travelers in Africa, crossed paths in Zanzibar several years ago and the relationship naturally blossomed. Active in Ocean research and marine conservation efforts around the world, Jim 's life also revolved around wildlife and environmental action as well as art. They live near New Orleans, in Mandeville, Louisiana in a renovated home designed in an African/Asian style, where she has her studio and workshop. They enjoy living there with their 3 dogs in a natural, country environment a short drive from the Belgian horse she raised from a colt.
Along with maintaining her art commitments, Anne and Jim volunteer weekly at "New Heights" therapeutic riding facility where they help veterans, adults, and children with disabilities horseback ride. Avid outdoor enthusiasts, they are also active SCUBA divers and, through the "Diveheart Foundation," help folks with disabilities train and participate in SCUBA diving trips to the Caribbean.
She travels to Africa regularly, visiting friends and fellow conservationists, while bringing back field sketches and photographs of her beloved wildlife. Anne then bases her, "Portraits Of The Wild" on her real-life experiences in the African bush.
These days her passion for protecting our planet's wildlife is expressed through, ARTS FOR ANIMALS ,LLC. a nonprofit Anne and Jim started in 2012 that has grown to be a major force in African wildlife conservation efforts. Working with partners across the globe, ARTS FOR ANIMALS has directly impacted well over 10,000 children and their attitudes toward conserving Earth's precious wildlife.
Her work can be seen at several wildlife preservations and breeding institutions and municipal zoos as well as in galleries in Aspen, Colorado, Seattle, Washington and Jackson, Wyoming. One of her most famous sculptural pieces is a large bronze Mountain Lion Sculpture in the center of the Santa Barbara zoo. Besides being collected privately around the world, several international corporations continue to exhibit her artwork, as well as hospitals, conservation foundations, and public figures. Her work and techniques are currently used in the teaching curriculum of The California Academy of Art.
- 1988 - Society of Animal Artists
- Build on Hope
- Cheetah Conservation Fund
- 2014 - London nominated for Conservation Award
Anne in London was nominated for the Artists for Conservation Simon Coombs award for her work with children in Africa.
Her nonprofit," Arts for Animals', teaches children in Africa to draw endangered species and connects their creativity with conservation stewardship messages. " I was honored to be recognized by Artists for Conservation for my efforts to change the future of endangered animals in Africa. I believe my story clearly demonstrates that any artist, even with the most minimal resources, can make a difference in wildlife conservation on our planet."
Anne is proud to be exhibited in the following public and private collections:
- Al Giddings, Underwater Cinematographer, Film Producer, CA
- Ally Sheedy, Actress, Film Producer, CA
- Artists for Conservation International Exhibit
- Darryl McFadden, Deputy Director, Detroit Zoo MI
- Dr. Ellis Greiner, PhD, Active Chair UCF Gainesville Vet. School, FL
- Farley Mowat, Conservationist, Author, Canada
- Frank Murru, Director, Sea World, Orlando, FL
- Frederika Kaestle, Ph.D., Dept. of Anthropology, Yale University, CT
- Gainesville University Art Exhibition, FL
- Haagen Daaz Corporate Headquarters Collection
- INTEL Corporate Headquarters Collection, CA
- International Rhino Foundation Headquarters, FL
- Ivan Tors, Filmmaker, Producer, CA
- Jack Hanna Director Columbus Zoo, OH
- Jack Pierson, Curator of Mammals, Sea World Orlando, FL
- Jean Philip Cousteau, Filmmaker, Producer, Marine Conservationist
- Jerry Boren, Director, Columbus Zoo, OH
- John Denver, Personal Estate Collection, Musician, Filmmaker
- Laurie Marker, Director, Cheetah Conservation Foundation, Africa
- Larry Marton, Dean of Medicine, Madison, WI
- Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkley, CA
- Lincoln Park Zoo, IL
- Lubee Foundation, FL
- Marine Mammal Center, CA
- Marine World Africa USA, CA
- Marius Kruger, Head Warden, Kruger National Park, South Africa
- Miami Children’s Hospital, FL
- Miami Metrozoo, FL
- Miami Police Dept., FL
- National Fish and Wildlife, Washington, DC
- Nature Conservancy Corp., CA
- NBC Studios, CA
- Richard Leakey, International Conservationist, Anthropologist, Africa
- Ron Magill, International Conservationist,Author,Director, Maimi Zoo
- Santa Barbara Zoo, CA
- Sea World Orlando, FL
- Senator Quentin Kopp, CA
- Steven Spielberg, Film Producer, Director, Wyoming Home
- St. Louis Zoo, MO
- St. Tammany Woman's Hospital Healing Collection
- Sundance Institute, UT
- The Wilds, OH
- Tippi Hedren, Actress, Film Producer, Animal Conservationist, CA
- United States Fish and Wildlife Department, Washington, DC
- University of Wisconsin, WI
- Former Vice President Al Gore, Family home
- White Oak Foundation, Fl