Cincinnati artist Ann Geise worked as Artist and
Exhibits Manager for Cincinnati
for 19 years. With a Bachelor of Science
degree in biology from Northern
and love of nature, art and the outdoors, Ann came to CNC where she designed
and illustrated the center’s publications and educational exhibits. Accuracy
and realism have always been a standard for her work. Ann’s illustrations have
appeared in several books including “A Guide to the Birds of the Philippines” and “In Ohio’s Backyard: Bats”. She now devotes herself fulltime to painting
at her studio in Batavia, Ohio.
Ann works primarily in oils and paints a variety of subjects, from birds
and wildlife to rural landscapes and scenes from her travels. She has exhibited
her work in numerous regional shows.
is on an artistic journey exploring nature's infinite possibilities.
He is an
award winning artist specializing in landscapes and animal subjects. DeVere is
a former research biologist, science museum director, and founder of the artist
group, Masterworks for Nature.
Masterworks has helped nonprofit organizations raise money for
conservation projects. DeVere is inspired by the life and times of John James
Audubon, and he has created a collection of Audubon themed paintings entitled
"Audubon's River." He is
currently lecturing and exhibiting this collection around the Midwest.
Linda Howard Bittner
Linda Howard Bittner is forever trying to capture the charm and character of our natural world. She has been a professional commercial artist for over 20 years. Linda’s work has graced many products including greeting cards, giftware, children’s books, toys, games, puzzles and exhibits for zoos, aquariums and nature centers. Linda also exhibits in the fine art world. Her hope is to inspire people of all ages to get out into wild spaces and to participate in conservation efforts for future generations.
Linda is also a licensed travel agent and the founder of an adventure-travel business called Wild Art Safaris LLC providing exceptional opportunities for artist, photographers and anyone who has a passion for nature, world culture and travel. Linda creates custom itineraries and escorted tours to connect her clients with exceptional experiences in WILD places all over the world.
Mary Louise Holt was an honors graduate from the College of
Mount Saint Joseph with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She started her career
as a graphic designer, illustrator and courtroom artist for local and national
television. Using those same skills she also created exhibits for nature
centers, museums and other institutions involved in environmental education
both here and abroad. With comprehensive formal training in the academic tradition
of fine portraiture she paints many portraits on commission. Her passion for
natural history has compelled her to combine all of these skills to bring to
life on canvas the rich natural history of the Eastern Frontier. Mary Louise
Holt’s historical paintings as well as her portraits, landscapes and wildlife
art can be found in private and corporate collections throughout the United States. Her
work has also been exhibited in several prestigious museums in the United States and Europe.
John Agnew first established his
reputation as a muralist and illustrator for museums and zoos, but his
award-winning, realistic paintings of animals and landscapes are now in
collections around the world. In 2001, North Light Books published his book,
“Painting the Secret World of Nature.” He has served as artist in residence in
two national parks; Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in 2009, and Everglades National Park
in 2011, and has exhibited in US Embassies in Costa
Rica and Belarus.
He is a Signature Member and an Executive Board member of the Society of Animal
Artists, an international group, and a founding member of Master Works for
Nature, a group of Cincinnati
artists. His favorite subjects are reptiles and birds, and John has traveled
the globe in search of them.
Christopher Walden, originally from Auckland New Zealand, came to the States in 1979 for what was supposed to be a 30 day tour. Twenty–five years later he is still here and in the meantime has become a nationally known wildlife artist. Chris feels the need to give back to the lands and animals he paints by making sure that they are still around for many generations to enjoy. To accomplish this mission Chris has teamed up with several conservation groups in the US to lend his talents to help raise money and awareness to preserve the habitats that are in danger. Through donations of artwork in the past 20 years Chris has helped raise over 28 million dollars for conservation.
Cincinnatian John A. Ruthven returned home after Naval
service during WWII to attend the Cincinnati
After a successful commercial art career he began his own company Wildlife
Internationale, Inc. in 1970 and still maintains his gallery in Georgetown, Ohio.
Highlights of his accomplishments include the
1960-61 Federal Duck Stamp competition, 1st Artist of the Year print
for Duck’s Unlimited, Eagles for three U.S.
Presidents, Eagle to the Moon for the Neil Armstrong
and many private collections. Commission work and travel continue to provide a
busy schedule for this naturalist, lecturer and artist who is
also on the recovery team for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. John was awarded the
National Medal of Arts by the National Endowment for the Arts presented in the
White House. John is honored to have his new painting of Passenger Pigeons
painted as a mural on a building in downtown Cincinnati during the spring and summer of
2013 by Artworks.
Debbie Lentz, former owner/operator of the successful Wombat Art Works Gallery in Waynesville, OH is now dedicating her artistic career to producing and promoting her own works of wildlife and nature subjects. Debbie's early experience as a volunteer for the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens helped to fuel her passion to create her realistic wildlife art, particularly her big cats. Debbie is a Dayton based artist, graduating from the University of Cincinnati with her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. She is dedicated, wholeheartedly to the preservation of wildlife as well as the habitats in which they live. Through her art work, Debbie has helped to raise money for such organizations as the Cincinnati Zoo, the Center for Endangered Wildlife, the Angel Fund, the Columbus Zoo, the Hamilton County Parks, Raptor Inc., the International Society of Endangered Cats, and the Fishing Cat Species Survival Program. She hopes that through her art she can inspire others to do what they can to protect the earth and all its inhabitants.
content of a body of works has much to do with the way an artist thinks.
Painting has a lot to do with life experiences, often more than how brush
strokes are put on a canvass. Painting reflects life experiences; learning
about new places, seeing a new species for the first time, meeting interesting
people, and then relating these experiences on canvass. We often see people on
the street and do not realize the vast chamber held within that person until we
engage in conversation about art, music or nature.
divided between several favorite projects; teaching at the Richmond Art Museum, freelance classes in-studio, Indiana Plein
Air Painters Association, Masterworks for Nature, and the Susan K. Black
Foundation, and instructor for the Dubois High School Mentor Program, Dubois
WY. Editor for two magazines, Fine Art Connoisseur and Legacy News required
contact with artists and events in both the West and Cape
Ann areas. The summer classes at Shreinner
University, Kerrville TX
is a two week intense education project with invited students and exhibition of
Award winning sculptor, Christine
Knapp, a native of Dayton, Ohio, has been a professional artist since 1990. She
is best known for her realistic bronze creations of both animal and human
subjects. After attending art classes at the University of Dayton and studying
with several well- known painters and sculptors, such as Lincoln Fox, Veryl
Goodnight, Guy Coheleach, and John Seerey-Lester, Christine found her true love
Art is an intimate way of communicating a message, feeling
or emotion to others. My goal is to spark a fond memory, inspire an idea or
enlighten my viewers of the varied subjects I have chosen to portray. Of
ultimate interest to me is that special bond that develops between people,
animals, and each other. – Christine Knapp
Response to her work in this medium
has proven so successful that she now devotes all her artistic endeavors
exclusively to sculpture. All of her bronzes are created by utilization of the
age-old lost wax casting process. In order to better convey the spirit of her
subjects, she travels extensively to obtain first hand knowledge through
personal observation and her own photography. Of special interest to her is the
wildlife of Yellowstone and Teton National Parks ecosystems. Native American
culture is also a very inspirational force behind her work.
Christine currently maintains her
studio and residence near Lyons,Colorado with her husband & three dogs.
When Charley Harper (1922-2007) painted a bird, he didn't count all the feathers in the wings — he just counted the wings. He reduced his subject to the simplest possible visual terms without losing its identity. He described his style as “minimal realism.” And he claimed to be the only wildlife artist in America who had never been compared to Audubon. Combining the skills and drafting tools of the architect with the aesthetic sense of the painter, he began to develop his distinctive style that aims to help us want to preserve the natural treasures that remain. Charley’s paintings have appeared in nature-oriented magazines and on over 50 posters for conservation-minded organizations, among them the National Park Service, Cincinnati Zoo, Cincinnati Nature Center, Hamilton County (Ohio) Park District, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica, and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania. Charley produced two books of his prints and paintings, Charley Harper’s Birds & Words, and Beguiled by the Wild: The Art of Charley Harper. He also illustrated The Golden Book of Biology (1961) and The Animal Kingdom (1968). Celebrity designer Todd Oldham produced two later books, Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life (2007) and Charley Harper's Animal Kingdom (2012). Other works include ceramic tile murals for the Federal Building and Convention Center in Cincinnati and the Microbiology Building at Miami University in Ohio. He designed interpretive displays for Everglades National Park. In his 60-year career, he createdhundreds of limited-edition silkscreen prints, giclees, and many lithograph open-edition prints. Today, Harper's international reputation continues to grow larger through the licensing of his images on a wide range of products respectful of the artist's legacy.
Charlie Harper is now represented by his son Brett Harper, an amazing friend to our Masterworks for Nature group.
Gary Denzler’s interest in birds, particularly hawks, eagles, falcons and owls goes back as far as he can remember. Since 1983, Gary has trained birds and directed the Great American Wings of Wonder show at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. His art career began in 1979, first carving a Peregrine Falcon from a piece of white pine. In 1988, Gary won Best in Category, Professional Class for Miniature Birds of Prey at the World Competition at Ocean City, MD. That same year Gary began a 3-year project sculpting birds for the Ice Age at the Cincinnati Museum Center. When the Zoological Society of Cincinnati established a conservation award recognizing individuals who have made an impact on preserving our natural world, Gary was selected to design it. He sculpted “Martha” the last passenger pigeon, to represent this annually presented award. The list of recipients includes Roger Tory Peterson, Jane Goodall, Richard Leakey and Ted Turner.
“With nature and animal art, I try to look beyond the expected and do something a little off, a little grating perhaps, so the viewer becomes involved in the story. My animals live in the real world where horses get burrs in their manes and domestic cats are ferocious carnivores. There is much beauty to be found in a common batch of weeds.“
Margi Hopkins earned her BFA from Denison University and spent summers taking classes at The DeCordova Museum, The Boston Museum of Fine Art and the Massachusetts College of Art.
In 2001 she started Pepper Portraits while working as a veterinary assistant. Her devotion to wild and domestic animals, as well as their habitat, is evident in her paintings and the various causes to which she donates time and art.
Her subject matter is whatever allows her to explore composition, lighting and message. She has built a reputation for her story telling and unusual medium which includes solvents with colored pencil on a fabric surface.
Margi submits to at least three major juried exhibitions annually, winning many accolades and exhibits in galleries, universities and museums countrywide. Her work has graced the front cover of JAVMA twice and is published in art books such as North Light Books STROKES OF GENIUS. Of the many purchases made by collectors here and abroad, Margi is most proud that her original “Who Recued Whom” depicting an elderly gentleman with his newly adopted Jack Russel, was purchased by the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine Library in honor of their rescue work.
Margi is a signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America, a member of Masterworks For Nature and an Associate Member of The Society of Animal Artists.
Chris Rowlands is a singer, songwriter, painter, puppeteer and Outreach Naturalist with Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, where he develops innovative and interdisciplinary environmental education programs for children.
Chris began his career as a naturalist in 1986 while enrolled in college with the National Audubon Expedition Institute. Within a few years, Chris became a nationally recognized performer, teaching children about nature through innovative outreach programs. A talented artist, Chris has also drawn animals in a variety of media his entire life and created wildlife illustrations for the Connecticut Wildlife Department. Chris has gone on to creatively blend his talents in music, art, comedy and education to create fast paced shows that teach and inspire young people. His programs include an ongoing series of artistic residences in which he works with students to create large scale murals involving natural subjects. The Environment Magazine honored Chris with its first E Award for his environmental education programs.
In his current capacity as Outreach Naturalist at Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm near Dayton, Ohio, Chris brings his lessons about nature, art and conservation to more than 60,000 students, teachers and parents each year through public performances and in-school artistic residencies.
Click on link-scroll down to OUTREACH PROGRAMS to see more about Chris and his work at Aullwood.
Masterworks for Nature is a group of southwestern Ohio regional artists dedicated to raising awareness and funds for conservation. Originally conceived in 1999 as "Wildlife 2000," the group has expanded and grown into Masterworks for Nature, maintaining the same mission. The current group of fourteen members work together to partner with conservation and nature education non-profits to hold exhibitions and events to raise income through sales and auctions. To date, they have raised over $1.3 million in gross receipts for various conservation organizations in the Cincinnati area.
The artists include plein air painters, illustrators, sculptors and fine artists, each with their own special interests and styles. Many Masterworks for Nature events include “Quick Draw” or “Quick Finish” sessions where the artists work from live animal subjects, creating magical works of nature art right in front of patron’s eyes. These works are donated at 100% to the host organization and are auctioned off at the event. A portion of all art sales at these exhibitions go to the host organization to help fund their conservation and education programs.