The top five artists in each category were given awards in the 7th Annual Animal Kingdom international online art exhibition. Below are the biographies and/or artist’s statements along with the artist’s websites or emails.
To contact these artists directly for purchase inquiries or to see more of their work, please visit the 7th Annual Animal Kingdom Art Exhibition page for contact information.
Congratulations again to all the winners and thank you for sharing your talent with us.
Best in Show (Traditional) – Annik Janssens – “TIME FOR ACTION” – pastel
All my life I have had a huge passion for animals and everything that has to do with nature. I strive to convert my passion for animals into photo-realistic portraits to be able to portray the character of the animal as well as possible. Images say so much more than words. The viewer has to want to touch the animal, to feel it.
To learn more about Annik and to see more of her work, please visit her website.
Best in Show (Photography & Digital) – Maggy R Pease – “GRACE AND NANUK” – digital art
Maggy was born and raised in Reykjavik Iceland. She was interested in Photography in her teens but didn’t really get into it until she got her first digital SLR. She took online photograph classes and later signed up with Photoshop Artistry with Sebastian Michaels and is currently in his Awake and Kaizen courses. Nature and Animals especially dogs are her passion and her inspiration. Maggy has several images published in the Living the Photo Artistic Life Magazine and was the feature artist in May of 2019
To learn more about Maggy and to see more her work, please visit her website.
Best in Show (3 Dimensional) – Deana Bada Maloney – “KING SOLOMON” – whitestone clay, iron oxide wash and ink
I have been an observer of nature all my life. I am continually awestruck at the beauty of the natural world and the magic and mystery in every living thing. My work is a study of living forms, celebrating the structure of how something is made along with the transcendental presence of the subject. I have a BFA in Drawing and Painting from the Art Institute of Chicago, with a strong focus in anatomy and scientific illustration. I have found sculpture to be another vehicle for me in which I am able to express the beauty and stories woven in nature and the world around us.
I tell a story in each of my pieces using symbolism in found materials that I incorporate into my work whether it is from the subject’s natural surroundings or a component of the story. I use a method of using oxides during the final firing of my pieces to capture all the marks made in the creation of the piece. This makes my sculptures look like 3D drawings harkening back to my strong drawing roots.
To learn more about Deana and to see more of her work, please visit her website.
2nd Place (Traditional) – David Krolikowski – “SKY BRIGADE” – oil
I am a self-taught artist living in the south suburbs of Chicago. In regards to my work. I primarily paint with oils on canvas and approach the canvas in a technical style similar to the old masters. My genre is a name I conceived called “Haunting Romanticism”. I explore loss, melancholy, and the unfamiliar but I try to convey them in a beautiful manner. There is a romanticization of nature with a hint of mysticism.
To learn more about David or to see more of his work, he can be reached via his Email.
2nd Place (Photography & Digital) – Debby Thomas – “ROYALTY” – photography
A horse trainer/instructor for 30years, Debby now uses her intuitive sense for animals to emotionally connect you with their world with her artwork and photographic images. She works in pencil and colored pencil.
To learn more about Debby and to see more of her work, please visit her website.
2nd Place (3 Dimensional) – Fan Guangtong (w) – “NORTH WIND BLOWS” – sculpture
Fan Guangtong is a professional Chinese artist and director of Fangtian culture and art. He is a member of Guangzhou Sculpture Society, director of Shenzhen Dapeng Artists Association and currently working in Guangzhou.
To learn more about Fan Guangtong, he can be reached via his Email.
3rd Place (Traditional) – Dawn Whitney-Hall – “OUROBOROS” – mixed media on canvas
Dawn Whitney-Hall is a fine artist and muralist residing in Southern California. She is drawn to the subject of wildlife of all types as well as the figure in semi-abstract in style. She has been painting for over twenty-five years and finds the craft of image making a connection to the divine.
To learn more about Dawn and to see more or her work, please visit her website.
3rd Place (Photography & Digital) – Shawna Hinkel – “DADDY’S SIDEKICK” – photography
Shawna Hinkel is an award-winning photographer from Dallas, Texas. She received her Certification from Professional Photographers of America (PPA) in 2014 and her Master of Photography degree in 2019. Her work has been accepted in the PPA International Photographic Competition Annual Exhibition every year since 2016, with images published in the annual Showcase Collection and Loan Collection books as well. She was the Dallas Professional Photographers Association Photographer of the Year in 2017 and 2018, and was named as one of the Top 10 photographers in Texas in 2020. She also received the American Society of Photographers’ State Elite Award in 2020. She has won a variety of other awards, and has been featured in multiple art gallery exhibitions.
To learn more about Shawna and to see more of her work, please visit her website.
3rd Place (3 Dimensional) – Douglas Aja – “WHITE MISCHIEF” – bronze
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, ElephantVoices, The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Action for Cheetahs in Kenya and Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF). Aja’s bronze sculptures are in the private collections of elephant researchers Cynthia Moss and Joyce Poole, wildlife cinematographer Martyn Colbeck, the 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.
To learn more about Doug and to see more of his work, please visit his website.
4th Place (Traditional) – Natalie Ayas (Natalia Ayas Bezuglova) – “FINN” – soft pastel
Natalie Ayas Bezuglova is a 31 years old Prague-based artist, a member of the Pastel Guild of Europe and the Red Rock Pastel Society of Nevada USA. Since childhood, spending plenty of time in the village outdoors, Natalie admired the beauty of nature, especially she was fascinated by various animals and flowers. Painting them was and still is her favorite pastime.
Primarily self-taught, Natalie has completed painting and drawing courses at several on-line and local art schools being supported by talented and remarkable painters. Regularly participating in art workshops and learning from foreign and local artists, Natalie broadens her skill set and develops her own unique style. Having experience exploring and experimenting with a variety of art materials and techniques Natalia found soft pastels to be the medium she wants to perfect herself in. Rich, pure pigments of soft pastel allow color vibration and visual mixing – qualities difficult to capture with other mediums. In this way, animals and flowers appeared to be the ideal objects to depict with this flexible material.
Using pastel Natalie creates detailed, realistic and at the same time soft and airy work, inspired by the beauty of nature and light. Showing the fragility and delicacy of the flowers’ petals, softness and texture of animals’ fur. Trying to maintain realism while leaving a space for viewer’s imagination. Natalie’s paintings reside in private collections across Russia, Turkey, Czech Republic and USA. Also, she has produced numerous commissioned works of art.
To learn more about Natalie or to see more of her work, please visit her website.
4th Place (Photography & Digital) – Barbara Mierau-Klein – “BLUEBIRD” – digital photo collage
Barbara Mierau-Klein is a digital artist recognized for her multi-layered, imaginative and colorful fine art images. A native of Germany, Barbara lives in the Washington, D.C. area but often travels the world as a passionate landscape and nature photographer since her teenage years.
Much of Barbara’s work is highly stylized and focuses on beautiful moments and evocative moods across a wide range of subjects. The inspiration for her images comes from many sources, often her own nature photography, but also books, song lyrics, movies, and works of other artists, old masters as well as contemporary digital artists.
Barbara’s work has been exhibited in a number of galleries in the US and Europe and has received numerous awards. Her images also appear regularly in international art magazines. Barbara is represented locally by Waverly Street Gallery in Bethesda, MD.
To learn more about Barbara and to see more of her work, please visit her website.
4th Place (3 Dimensional) – Patti Lomont – “BELTED KINGFISHER” – ceramic sculpture
Working with clay, fabric, musical instrument parts, found objects, metal, wood and glass to create three-dimensional narrative ceramic sculpture, is a relatively new medium of expression for Patti Lomont. She has been a glass artist for 40+ years, and in the last ten years renewed her love of sculpture. Combining a variety of mediums together is a challenging and rewarding pursuit. The magical alchemy of applying heat to clay and glass holds many surprises. This sense of being in control and out of control leads Patti on a lifetime of exploration. Many of Patti’s pieces are inspired by her dream life.
Patti has been an artist and musician since she was a young girl. She studied Fine Arts and Art Education at the Universities of Illinois and Oregon, and received a degree in Art Education, with minors in Music and Anthropology. Teaching Art for four years in public schools was both challenging and inspiring. For many years Patti traveled up and down the West Coast, selling her art glass at shows and galleries. She also has worked for many non-profit organizations in Arts Administration, including Aurora Glass (a recycled glass foundry), Oregon Crafted/Oregon Arts Alliance, and the Oregon Bach Festival. She has had the pleasure to study with many fine ceramic sculptors over the last ten years, and is now in a luxurious time in life where she gets to create art full-time.
To learn more about Patti or to see more of her work, please visit her website.
5th Place (Traditional) – Christine O’Dell-Ferguson – “FEARLESS” – acrylic on canvas
I have considered myself an artist for as long as I can remember; I don’t recall not being an artist. I was raised in a rural area, and feel blessed to have had that life. It made me appreciate and understand nature and all of its wonders. I was lucky enough to attend art school. The experience enriched my vocabulary, and I am grateful.
I am constantly inspired by the forms in nature. It doesn’t matter if I am drawing, painting, sculpting, or weaving; organic forms intrigue me. With each piece I complete, I cannot wait to begin a new one. I am lucky to be surrounded by my muse, and I have never gotten bored or tired of paying homage to it. I love sharing my work, and I can only hope that the viewer can feel the passion and reverence I feel for my subject matter. Whether it’s waves, trees, a landscape, a creature, or an abstracted form I am looking at, the excitement I feel never changes. It is a journey I chose and I hope I never complete.
I have been fortunate in my career, and have been awarded, recognized, and published locally, nationally, and internationally. It has been a wonderful life.
To learn more about Christine or to see more of her work, please visit her website.
5th Place (Photography & Digital) – Maureen Ravnik – “COMING HOME” – color digital photography
Maureen Ravnik was born in Minnesota. After attending college in Colorado, she stayed and never looked back. Working and traveling opened her eyes to the wonders of the American west and reawakened childhood tendencies to creatively document her discoveries. She began making images of the American west in hopes of preserving the history, the culture, and the dreams that shaped the west. Today, Maureen’s time is spent outdoors capturing the scenery, wildlife, and exploring other methods for interpreting and sharing what she sees and experiences along the way.
Maureen has accomplished many things with her photography including images placed in the Audubon International Top 250, local, national and international juried photography exhibitions, winning placements in monthly club competitions, state park calendars, images selected for use by the City of Littleton, Colorado, and many images selected as editor picks on National Geographic and for publication. Her work has been the subject of several newspapers. She has co-authored 2 books that document the history, beauty and environment of the second largest natural area in the country. Maureen has also served as a juror for the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts in Colorado.
Maureen’s goal is to continually look for new ways to challenge herself. That is what inspires her to never reject possibilities in subject matter.
To learn more about Maureen or to see more of her work, please visit her website.
5th Place (3 Dimensional) – Malcolm Sharp – “MOCCASSIN” – wood
Currahee Twisted Sticks was born from a love of the outdoors and a God given talent for drawing, carving and sculpting. One afternoon while walking through the woods, my wife and I spotted a small twisted tree standing out by itself. My wife said, “You should cut that down and make a walking stick”. So, a while later, that’s what I did. After letting it dry, I began to carve it. The twist in the wood looked a little like a snake, so that’s what it became. Later, while watching Antiques Roadshow, I discovered that this is actually an old Appalachian folk art and not many people do it anymore. I wanted to keep the art alive, so I kept carving.
To learn more about Malcolm or to see more of his work, please visit his website.
Fusion Art, LLC
Santa Fe, NM