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Tony Mayo

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for November, 2017

Much of Tony Mayo's artwork is related to endangered species and endangered environments.

"My desire is to draw people to the complexity and beauty of the endangered animals and environments depicted in my art. My hope is that my work will create in viewers, a longing to play their role in helping to protect and preserve our precious planet and all living things for future generations."

One of Tony’s interests is studying endangered ethnic groups, an interest that has prompted him to travel the remote regions of 95 countries around the globe. Tony’s art often demonstrates his fascination with world cultures and frequently incorporates rare and unusual materials obtained during exotic travels. Since 1972, Tony has traveled widely, studying, and researching, endangered human cultures. To that end, he has collected numerous photographs, slides, tape recordings, videos, notes, diagrams and artifacts. Consequently, in 2014, he was elected a member of The Explorers Club with its world headquarters in New York City. The Explorers Club has a very strong conservation mandate.

Tony explains:

"I have often been asked to speak to various organizations about endangered ethnic groups. During these talks, I discuss the struggles those groups have as they try to preserve the traditions, land, way of life, and the environments in which they live. During my presentations, I often address related environmental damage that is occurring and how it affects various species, environments and cultures. In many of the communities I visited, I convinced tribal leaders of the importance of preserving their traditions and artifacts. Often important artifacts were leaving their communities and I encouraged them to establish locally maintained collections. In some instances, the indigenous communities I visited were in discussions regarding the sale or lease of their traditional land. When asked, I have pointed out the inherent dangers to their culture, environment, heritage, land, people and future."

When Robert Bateman Secondary School was on the drawing board in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, Mayo designed and equipped the Fine Arts Department. When the school opened in 1993, he was appointed Fine Arts Department Head as well as senior art teacher; a position he held until stepping down in 2005 to establish his business, TonyMayoArt. As an art teacher, many of his required art projects centered around endangered species and environments. Students were often asked to do original research papers and artwork related to their environmental art projects. Mayo’s art background, as well as his interest in endangered species and environments made him a natural for the position of Robert Bateman Secondary School Fine Arts Department Head.

Many of Mayo’s former students have become successful in a wide range of fields and they took with them an appreciation for the preservation of earth and its diverse habitats and species. Also, many are successful artists and their art often expresses an interest in preserving our earth and its wildlife. A few are successful wildlife artists.

Tony Mayo was born in Minnesota and spent his childhood in the American Midwest. He attended the University of Minnesota where he earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts from St. Cloud University, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from The University of Minnesota.

In 1974 Tony immigrated to Canada settling in the Northwest Territories where he traveled much of Canada’s Arctic and helped establish an Inuit Art Co-op. Tony Mayo now resides in British Columbia on Canada's west coast. His studio overlooks the Fraser River and is surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains.

Learn more about Tony

Photo credit: Pat and Rosemarie Keough

Previous Conservation Artists of the Month

(October, 2017)
(September, 2017)
(August, 2017)
(July, 2017)
(June, 2017)
(May, 2017)
(April, 2017)
(March, 2017)
(February, 2017)
(January, 2017)
(December, 2016)
(November, 2016)
(October, 2016)
(September, 2016)
(August, 2016)
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