International award for artist

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A much–loved Matlock wildlife artist has received international recognition for her tireless conservation work.

Pollyanna Pickering was presented with The Artists for Conservation’s (AFC) Simon Combes Conservation award at a glitzy ceremony in Vancouver.

The award – the most prestigious in the field of wildlife art – is given to those who show artistic excellence and extraordinary contributions to the conservation cause, exemplifying the same qualities as the award’s namesake, Simon Combes, former director of the Rhino Rescue Trust, who was tragically killed by a charging buffalo in 2004.

Pollyanna said: “I am most honoured to receive this prestigious award from the AFC.

“I think it is wonderful that the AFC formally recognises the unique and valuable role which wildlife art plays in the world of conservation.

“I believe that I have been very fortunate to able to use my artwork to both fund raise for and raise awareness of the plight of endangered species around the world, and I feel humbled to be given this award for following my passion and vocation.”

In 2001, the artist started the Pollyanna Pickering Foundation, a non–profit organisation which campaigns internationally to prevent the exploitation of wildlife and raises funds to support animal welfare and conservation projects worldwide.

She nearly didn’t receive her award however, due to a dramatic fire on the night of the ceremony. A dramatic mountain fire nearly stopped Matlock wildlife artist Pollyanna Pickering from receiving the highest honour of her career in Canada last week.

Minutes before the evening commenced, the organisers of the event, held at a luxury chalet high on Grouse Mountain, accessible only by cable car, were warned wildfire had started outside and they may need to evacuate the guests. Fortunately however the fire was brought under control.

AFC president and founder, Jeff Whiting commented “We are very proud to honour Pollyanna for her long-term dedication and contributions to conservation causes around the world.

“Pollyanna has shown extraordinary leadership in giving back to the subjects she depicts so passionately in her paintings.”

The bronze trophy will be on display throughout Pollyanna’s annual exhibition in her private gallery at Brookvale House, in Oaker, Matlock, between November 19 and December 2.

The exhibition will feature more than 50 new original paintings of British Wildlife, in a special ‘golden’ exhibition to celebrate the fiftieth event Pollyanna has held in her own gallery and will include her award winning painting ‘On the Tiles’ depicting a black cat.