AFC Signature Member, Anne London recently presented the Botswanan Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khamato, and Botswanan President, Ian Khama two of her original paintings to recognize their courageous efforts to protect Botswana's wildlife for future generations. The artworks illustrate lions, as a representative of all of Africa's wildlife and their struggle to survive against the threats of Wildlife poaching and trophy hunting. The two original paintings are valued at $14,000 USD each.
Here is the letter she wrote to President Khama to accompany the art:
As an artist of over four decades and a visitor to your country for over 20 years, I have grown to love Botswana, its people, and it's unique wildlife.
To me, one of the most powerful sounds on the planet is the deep roar of a lion in the twilight. It is ancient, deeply felt, and profoundly inspiring to this artist. I hear it, as I'm sure you do, as an integral part of the symphony of Botswana and I pray for its continued existence.
I feel privileged to hear it whenever I return to the bush in Botswana. Each year my Husband and I bring groups of wildlife lovers to Africa, so we have experienced the tragedy and finality of wildlife poaching and trophy hunting. We have also witnessed, firsthand, the hard work of your citizens who sincerely care about their wildlife heritage, and we have admired the triumph of their efforts to protect and preserve Botswana's wildlife as their children's birthright.
I have seen the rewards of their hope and dedication to protecting your country's wild animals, strengthened by their faith and confidence in your leadership. Your courage to stand against outside forces and antiquated hunting policies has had a significantly positive ripple effect in Botswana and across Africa.
The wave of wildlife appreciation and understanding, begun by your fathers and forefathers, continues to move outward, with the continued successes of wildlife conservation in Botswana establishing a model for other nations around the world.
And for this grateful artist, your legacy comes to my ears in the African twilight, just as the lion's roar-an ancient covenant fulfilled, and a source of hope for the future.
These paintings represent a pledge of international support and admiration to you and your government, as well as a visual expression of my own, personal thanks.
It is a painting of another warrior of an ancient line, a lion of the Kalahari. His fight will continue, as it did for his forefathers and yours, and as it will for his descendants and yours.
In presenting you this expression of my art, I would wish that it helps you to know that many others on Earth hear you both, and hope that your legacy and your wildlife, continues for generations to come.
Anne London is a prominent American artist, conservationist and Signature Member of AFC. Her art was greatly affected by a trip to a refuge for retired media animals, after which she started to focus on doing dramatic pieces that provide emotive portraits of wild animals, especially endangered species. She lives in Mandeville,Louisiana and works primarily with charcoal, watercolor, and engravings. Anne has established her reputation through producing art for non-profit wildlife preservation organizations and through showing and selling her work at art fairs. She travels to Africa annually to continue her conservation work and draw her subjects
Find out more about Anne London on her AFC website.