Vancouver, Canada, November 15, 2011 In a long career filled with many accomplishments in the areas of marine art, science, conservation and business, one of Dr. Guy Harvey’s finest moments came recently when fellow artists honored him with the prestigious Artists for Conservation (AFC) Simon Combes Conservation Award.

The presentation was part of a week long AFC festival gala, held November 4-13 at Grouse Mountain Resort in North Vancouver, which featured presentations by artists from around the world. The fourth annual AFC exhibition, which offered two galleries and a theatre for presentations, showcased the works of 109 juried international artists.

In winning the 2011 award, Dr. Harvey, who holds a Ph.D in marine biology, joins the ranks of David Shepherd and Robert Bateman, the first recipient of the Simon Combes Conservation award, who was on hand as the event’s keynote speaker and featured artist.

The AFC created the Simon Combes Conservation Award in 2005 to honor Simon Combes, a world-renowned painter, author, instructor and dedicated conservationist.  He served as Director of the Kenya chapter of the Rhino Rescue Trust.  Combes was tragically killed by a charging Cape Buffalo (wounded by poachers), while hiking near his home in Kenya in 2004. Simon’s son, Guy Combes, presented Dr. Harvey with the award.

“As the human population continues to grow and exploit nature, this once small genre continues to become more prominent as we address issues of conservation of through our art,” Dr. Harvey told the attending AFC event audience in his acceptance speech. “No longer is ‘wildlife art’ considered the red-headed stepchild of fine art.  We are becoming a major force in the genre of fine art and the consuming public now pays more attention to our work and our actions than at any time in our history.”

Dr. Harvey went on to point out the difficulty of capturing the marine environment in art because of the artist’s inaccessibility of the subject matter, especially those species found in the open ocean.

“Those artists who have ventured into this aquatic realm all help to generate knowledge of and compassion for species that from the public’s perspective, are out of sight, therefore out of mind.  Many of these are facing annihilation from increasing over-exploitation,” he added.

Dr. Harvey’s conservation efforts embrace many threatened and endangered species of marine wildlife, including sharks, marlin, bluefin tuna, Nassau grouper, sea turtles and other species.  The Canadian premier of This is Your Ocean-Sharks, an award-winning documentary staring Dr. Harvey, fellow artist Wyland and photographer/diver Jim Abernathy, was held Sunday at the AFC exhibition.

Collaboration between Dr. Harvey and Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Oceanographic Center resulted in the creation of the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) in 1999, with a mission to provide scientific information necessary to understand, conserve and effectively manage the world’s marine fishes and their ecosystems.  In 2008, Dr. Harvey started the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation a non-profit dedicated to funding leading scientists as they develop new strategies for sensible fisheries management, and educators, who will create novel instructional programs to stimulate futures scientists and new stewards of the marine environment. For some of the 2011 GHOF highlights, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifyYMSc05MQ

About Guy Harvey

Guy Harvey is a world-renowned painter, underwater photographer, diver and marine biologist. Harvey, with permission from the Ernest Hemingway family, made a name for himself by debuting two sets of pen and ink drawings, including a collection titled Santiago’s Finest Hour, inspired by the author’s book, The Old Man & the Sea.  Since then, Harvey expanded beyond pen and ink to develop an artistic style of painting and photography that captivates fish and ocean lovers. He is a member of the prestigious Society of Animal Artists.

Guy’s books are collectors’ items, including his new “Panama Paradise” book featuring pictures and illustrations of the world famous Tropic Star Lodge in Panama. Among his many other accomplishments, Harvey’s Portraits from the Deep book was made into a television fishing series currently airing on Fox Florida TV Network. The series received a Telly Award.

Much of Harvey’s distinguished work is on a grand scale, having created full-wall murals at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, the Hollywood-Ft. Lauderdale International Airport and Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman. Harvey is the recipient Panama’s highest recognition, The Vasco Nuñez de Balboa Grand Cross and Silver Star, presented to those who make a positive impact in preserving Panama’s ocean resources.  For additional information on Guy Harvey, visit www.guyharvey.com

About Artists for Conservation Foundation

Founded in 1997, the Artists for Conservation Foundation (AFC) is a non-profit, international juried organization dedicated to the celebration and preservation of the natural world and is the world’s leading artist collective dedicated to the environment.  Based in Vancouver, Canada, the Foundation has a membership spanning five continents and nearly thirty countries.  The AFC’s mission is to support wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability and environmental education through art that celebrates our natural heritage.

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