Wildlife Artist of the Year

in association with BBC Wildlife Magazine

Wildlife Artist of the Year is an internationally renowned wildlife art competition and exhibition, which each year attracts entries from some of the most talented artists from in the world who come together and celebrate the beauty of the natural world. To date Wildlife Artist of the Year has attracted more than 13,300 entries raising more than £1.2 million for our ground-based conservation partners across Africa and Asia. 

Each year, the exhibition showcases a breath-taking selection of shortlisted artworks commended by our expert judging panel which portray a variety of techniques and mediums; from recycled plastic sculptures, to intricate pencil drawings, to vast colourful oil paintings, and everything in between.

With 50% of the proceeds from all artwork sales supporting DSWF and our ground-based partners, this exhibition highlights how we can use art to create something powerful and ignite the conversation about conservation.

Since its inception in 2008, it has become one of the most noteworthy events in the art calendar, often being referred to as the ‘Oscars of international wildlife art.’ Playing an integral role in helping to maintain our founder, David Shepherd OBE’s legacy of ‘The Art of Survival’, Wildlife Artist of the Year utilises the power of art to celebrate wildlife, support awareness and raise funds for endangered species across Africa and Asia.

Commenting on Wildlife Artist of the Year, David Shepherd OBE, our late founder’s words are more poignant than ever:

I set up my Foundation with the sole purpose of giving something back to the animals that helped me achieve success as an artist. At a time when the world’s wildlife is under such devastating pressure from expanding human populations and the illegal trade it seems fitting that we take a step back and reflect on the sheer beauty and diversity of our natural world and what could be lost if we do not truly appreciate the value of the world around us.”

Could you be the next DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year?

In 2021, DSWF’s Wildlife Artist of the Year competition saw a record breaking 1,199 talented artists from 70 countries enter a total of 2,307 pieces. We are delighted to announce the 2022 competition will be open for entries from midday on the 6th January 2022 until midday on the 31st March 2022. 

We look forward to welcoming back our wonderful longstanding artists and also encourage first time participants to pick up their pens, brushes or chisels to get involved with our world renowned art competition, all in aid of critically endangered wildlife.

For more information on our Wildlife Artist of the Year exhibition, please contact our team on way@davidshepherd.org or by calling our office directly on 01483 272 323.

View the catalogue of 2021 finalists

Artwork by Szilvia Mate

Artwork by Hilary Kington

DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year 2022

Due to the overwhelming international interest we received for Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021, we are once again excited to be holding the exhibition virtually to allow greater accessibility for artists from across the world and to offer a showcase of the highest quality to a truly global audience.

The winner of DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year 2022 will be announced following a rigorous judging process and a virtual exhibition will run in September 2022. All those shortlisted by our expert judging panel are invited to exhibit and sell their artworks as part of our annual exhibition, with 50% of the proceeds from the sales of artworks helping fund the vital work of our conservation partners across Africa and Asia.

To view full entry requirements please click here or to view available award categories please click here

Wildlife Artist of the Year prizes

  • Overall winner
  • Overall Runner-up
  • Six category winners
  • People’s Choice Award
  • The Elizabeth Hosking Prize for Watercolour
  • The Artist Magazine Personal Choice Award
  • Human Impact category

Entries for Wildlife Artist of the Year 2022 will open later in 2021. Wildlife artists can submit their beautiful artworks for judging here.

Find out more about the seven inspiring Wildlife Artist of the Year categories into which artists can choose to enter their artworks.

DSWF is delighted to announce that our Wildlife Artist of the Year competition and exhibition will be returning in 2022.

This prestigious art competition would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors. Find out who they are here.