Dylan Friedman, a senior at Kennedy High School in Vanessa Albaneze's AP Drawing class, was selected as one of 12 international finalists for the prestigious juried exhibition, Wildlife Artist of the Year.
Known as the "Oscars" of wildlife art, Wildlife Artist of the Year celebrates the art of conservation and attracts entries from all over the world. Friedman’s colored pencil drawing, Intellagama lesueurii howittii (Gippsland Water Dragon), was selected among 1,432 entries from over 760 artists across 61 countries. Each piece was judged anonymously, based on its originality, narrative and technical skill.
Friedman and other shortlisted artists were also asked to create a second work of art — a smaller original "post-card" sized piece to be sold for around $75 with all proceeds going to DSWF's conservation work. He chose to create an image of Atlantic Walruses in pastel. Fifty percent of all other art sales from the exhibition also went toward this cause.
He attended the awards ceremony with his family in London in mid-September.
“It was very inspiring to be able to meet and chat with many of the extremely incredible artists that were at the Mall Galleries on the evening of the awards ceremony, and see the brush strokes, intricate details and intended colors of each of the shortlisted artworks, up close and in person,” he noted. “I will never forget this experience and plan to submit to the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2024 competition again next year.”
Friedman said he has always had a passion for animals and art. He grew up surrounded by nature and sketched as he observed wildlife in zoos and aquariums. He plans to pursue a degree in zoological veterinary medicine with art as a possible double major.
The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation is a wildlife conservation charity operating across Africa and Asia to end wildlife crime and protect endangered species in their natural habitat.
View the entire exhibit here.