AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for January, 2017
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 (ATE), ElephantVoices and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT).
In 2015 Doug donated a bronze sculpture (Orphans) to DSWT for a fund raising event hosted at London's Landmark Hotel. Recently he has begun supporting Action for Cheetahs in Kenya (ACK) and Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF). In 2015, he designed and sculpted three bas relief plaques for Laikipia Wildlife Forum. These plaques are given to LWF donors in their highest three donor categories. Aja's bronze sculptures are in the private collections of elephant researchers Cynthia Moss and Joyce Poole, wildlife cinematographer Martyn Colbeck and the Bennington Center for the Arts.
Specific examples of Doug;s support of the AFC mission include:
2015: Harambee 2015 DSWT fundraiser he donated a bronze "Orphans" which sold for $3,800.
2015: For the Laikipia Wildlife Forum he donated time designing and sculpting three bas relief plaques for LWF's highest three donor categories,
2009: Fundraiser for Elephants and ElephantVoices with Dr. Joyce Poole, presented by the Los Angeles Alliance for Elephants, he donated a bronze elephant "Battle Weary" and donated photographs; "Echo" and " Through the Shadows".
2008: For a fundraiser for Elephants and ElephantVoices with Dr. Joyce Poole. Donated bronze elephant "Echo & Calf".
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.
Doug also supports Artists Against Extinction and in a recent magazine article in Sculpture Review, AFC members Douglas Aja and Rosetta were featured in the Sculpture Review article "Healing Art, Aid for the Animals of Africa."