Evolving to End Extinction: Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021

In these uncertain and challenging times David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) is delighted to announce that entries are now open for our global DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021 competition and exhibition.

Due to the global pandemic, our world has dramatically changed and so must we.  DSWF is therefore evolving to end extinction by creating an interactive, pioneering, and far-reaching virtual Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021 exhibition featuring all shortlisted artworks using the latest technology.

This new virtual platform launching next year, will allow for greater interaction, reach and exposure for wildlife art and the wildlife warriors who enter and commit to giving back to the animals and landscapes which grace their canvases.  With newly curated content and artist highlights, you will explore the 2021 exhibition in a truly interactive and unique way.  Our new virtual show will transport you to the plains of Africa, the mountains of Asia or the depths of the darkest oceans to celebrate the natural world in a way never seen before.  

With nature as our inspiration, we must adapt to survive these unprecedented times.  The fate of our Foundation and wildlife depend on it, and every entry into the competition and artwork sold will help us in our fight to turn the tide on extinction.

We are asking our devoted community of wildlife artists to pick up their brushes, easels and pencils to help us create the most viewed and significant Wildlife Artist of the Year to date, for the sake of the world’s precious wildlife and the future of this much-celebrated competition.

Shortlisted artworks for the exhibition will be selected by an expert judging panel, which includes DSWF’s very first Art Patron and world-renowned wildlife artist, Emily Lamb. Winning artists will receive generous cash prizes donated by our dedicated sponsors, the most recent of which is the Elizabeth Hosking Prize for Watercolour.

This world class competition exemplifies David Shepherd’s legacy, creating awareness for biodiversity from across the globe in its seven unique categories: Animal Behaviour, Earth’s Wild Beauty, Facing Extinction, Human Impact, Into the Blue, Urban Wildlife and Wings. 

Submit your artworks for Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021

Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021 Competition Details

Entries open on Wednesday 23 September 2020 and close on Monday 15 February 2021.

Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021 is open to both professional and amateur artists aged 17 or over, using any technique, medium or style excluding photography and digitally produced artwork. Artists must have reached the age of 17 by the closing date for entries (Monday 25 February 2021). All artworks need to be available for sale and completed by the artists within the last five years, and multiple entries are welcome. Terms and Conditions for entry can be viewed here.

All shortlisted artworks, chosen by our expert panel of judges, will be exhibited in a bespoke virtual gallery from Tuesday 25 May.

There is no need for shortlisted artworks to be posted to London for the virtual exhibition so artists can save on insurance and shipping costs.

50% of the proceeds from the sale of all artworks in Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021’s exhibition will continue to support DSWF’s work to fight wildlife crime, protect endangered species and engage communities to protect endangered wildlife across Africa and Asia.

Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021 Entry Fees:

  • £25 for the first two entries, thereafter it is £15 per entry.
  • £15 per entry for the Human Impact Category.

Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021 Prizes

  • £10,000* – Overall Winner
  • £2,000 – Runner-up
  • £500 – Category Winners (x7)
  • £500 – Elizabeth Hosking Prize for Watercolour
  • £500 in Great Art vouchers – People’s Choice Award
  • Publicity – The Artist Magazine Award

*The £10,000, consists of a £5,000 cash prize and £5,000 conservation voucher to be donated in the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021’s name to a DSWF species of their choice.

This is an exciting new way for the winning artists to give back to an endangered animal that inspires them. Our winner can choose to allocate the conservation voucher to chimpanzees, elephants, lions, painted dogs, pangolins, rhinos, snow leopards,  tigers – all of these deeply threatened species need our support more than ever during this unprecedented time.

You can find out more about How to Enter, alternatively follow our artists’ Instagram account (@dswfwildlifeart) for further updates about this prestigious competition.


Enter Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021 here.

Get some wild inspiration for your 2021 entry from our online Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020 gallery.

Learn more about the seven different categories in which to enter your artwork for Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021 competition.

Featuring art by our Partner Artists and friends of DSWF including international cricketer Jack Russell MBE and renowned wildlife photographer Andy Skillen.