Plein air painter Tobi Clement
Above: Plein air painter Tobi Clement

Tobi Clement ( an internationally recognized plein air pastel artist, has been emotionally and creatively inspired by the landscape of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge for many years. As a landscape artist, Tobi believes it is a reciprocal exchange of energy to give back to a place that has provided so much beauty and artistic inspiration. Her passion for this critically important refuge has inspired her to create an Artist Giving Back campaign called “Heartbeat of the Bosque.”

Working in collaboration with Nancy Ouimet, owner of Canyon Road Contemporary Art Gallery, and Deb Caldwell, Director of Friends of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, they have coordinated efforts to create a fundraising event. Four paintings inspired by the refuge will be available for sale through Canyon Road Contemporary Art Gallery with 30% of proceeds going back to Friends of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Why the Refuge?

Every year the Friends group hosts the Sandhill Crane Festival, a week-long event that raises money for critically needed projects. This year, Covid has cancelled the event and the means to which a large portion of their yearly funds are raised.

The refuge is a critical riparian habitat and the winter home for tens of thousands of birds that migrate through the central flyway. This high desert wetland, located in the Southern part of New Mexico, is the fifth largest bird watching location in America. In recent years, drought has impacted the water flow in the Rio Grande River and the refuge has had to rely primarily on their wells to provide water for the crops grown to support the winter bird population and to flood the fields that provide a safe habitat. The current wells are 75 years old and need to be replaced.

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Editor’s Note: As an artist, in what ways do you give back? Share it with us in the comments below to inspire others!


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