Each month, AFC recognizes an artist for their strong commitment to conservation through art. This month, AFC salutes Serena Bates.
Serena Bates is an established artist with a long list of accomplishments. As well as a Signature Member of AFC she is an elected member of CT Academy of Fine Arts, the Salmagundi Club, the Mystic Museum of Art, the Copley Society, Allied Artist of America, and the American Artists Professional League. She is also an elected member of and on the Board of Directors for the Lyme Art Association and the Catherine Lorillard Wolf Art Club, the oldest women’s art club in the nation.
Conservation has long been an important component of Serena's life. As an artist, she has always gravitated towards animals and wildlife topics and subject matter. Before becoming a full time artist, she was a part of the education team of the Mystic Aquarium, Mystic, CT. This is a division of the Sea Research Foundation. During this time, she was able to rescue injured marine mammals and help to educate the public about the plight of our oceans and about the delicate balance of the worlds eco systems. She has donated numerous artworks and time to the Aquatic Stranding Program at the Aquarium. Locally she has also been a part of Stand up For Animals, Westerly, RI's no kill animal facility. She in fact donated the bronze statue which is a landmark for the facility. In a recent work, "Survivor", she depicts a harbor seal that has bean cut by fisherman's netting. While he survived, his body bears the scars. "I would like to continue in the future creating conservation minded works, and participating in events and shows that raise funds and awareness for preservation."
As a sculptor, Serena has won many awards, recognitions, and honors during her career. She studied at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Art and considers herself to be a storyteller. A representational artist, she has an affinity for portraits and animals. She primarily works in clay, bronze, and stone. To hear more about her personal philosophy and see current works, visit her site www.serenabates.com and follow her on Instagram and/or Facebook.
"To date, I feel the most significant accomplishment I have made in my life is overcoming obstacle after obstacle, setbacks, naysayers and disappointments to pursue my art and never giving up. I could not survive if I did not have my art. It has been the one stable constant, the source of strength and comforting companion to me through the many ups and downs in my life. I make art because I don't know how not to. This is why I am here. Whether someone loves or hates my art, as long as I move them in some way with my quirkiness or storytelling, I have done my job."
"I am primarily a wildlife and animal sculptor and I like to make work that captures the soul and spirit of my subject matter. As an animal lover, I feel I need to do something to "give back" and help preserve endangered species and habitats."