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Renee Bemis

President – DeKalb, IL

Renee has been a professional artist for over 38 years. In 1994 she was awarded her first monumental public commission for “Returning on the Wings of Piece”, a 16’ bronze sculpture depicting a veteran with his child on his shoulders that was installed at the entrance of a Veteran’s Hospital. In the ensuing years, Renee has created public monuments for universities, hospitals, libraries, and parks. One of her latest pieces is a memorial to the 9/11 Emergency Responders where Renee had steel from the North Tower as part of her design. Renee’s sculptures have been acquired by museums for their permanent collections and can be found in private collections around the world.

In 2012, Renee and her husband built and started a distillery in Baraboo, Wisconsin. She is currently the CEO of the company that distributes their hand-crafted spirits to over 25 states and 3 foreign countries.

Renee is a fellow member of the American Artists Professional League, a Distinguished member of the American Society of Marine Artists, and a member of the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club. 

 

Renee is a Distinguished Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists (SAA). She has has been on the board of the SAA for over 25 years, serving has the board president for the last 8 years. Prior to that she was the board treasurer.

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Anni Courtier

Vice President – Flint, MI

Born in Chicago, but growing up in Flint, Michigan, Anni Crouter started painting and drawing before she could read or write.  Soon after relocating to Michigan in 1965, this natural ability caught notice by her mother and both her grandmothers, who encouraged her to express herself.  The life on a farm in rural Michigan with a father who was a veterinarian lent itself to many aspiring subjects to paint and draw, such as, horses, barn cats, dogs, birds and other wild and domesticated animals.  Many of these subjects still remain her favorites to paint.

Following school, she attended Mott Community College (Flint, MI) majoring in business, with a minor in art. Her artwork mainly focused on oil, and sometimes, acrylic mediums.  Her big breakthrough came with the introduction into the world of watercolors.  She credits her longtime mentor, Jim Ames, AWS.  Under his guidance, her knowledge in art theory and artistic abilities has continually progressed. Now her work can be seen in national and international trade journals, art galleries, businesses in several states, and in the homes of private collectors.

Anni married Dr. Nathan Boggs, DVM in 2001.  They currently reside in Flint, MI, where she shares space at her husband’s practice.  He fixes them on the ground floor and she paints them in the studio located on the second floor.  It seems that when you love your subjects so much, you make sure that you are around them as much as possible.  Anni ran her own grooming business before turning to her art career fulltime. She is currently a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists, Artist’s for Conservation, National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic, Northwest Watercolor Society, Mississippi Watercolor Society, and the American Watercolor Society. 

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Kelly Leahy Radding

Secretary – Columbia, CT

Kelly honors the natural world she loves through her art. She finds all aspects of nature interesting subjects for her paintings. Animals, plants, butterflies, rocks, the sometimes-overlooked minute details of Nature, are to her an integral and necessary part of the whole. 

 

Kelly grew up in rural Connecticut on the edge of a state forest and has come full circle living on a farm in Columbia, Connecticut at the end of a dirt road surrounded by woods. She shares the farm with her husband, her brother, three gray cats, seven elderly goats and one perfect border collie.

 

Kelly is a trained graphic designer, turning to full time painting after receiving her certificate of Botanical Art & Illustration at the New York Botanical Garden in 2002. She has taught regularly at the New York Botanical Gardens and Wellesley College Botanical Gardens certificate programs. She is a sought after guest instructor at botanical art programs, traveling to teach workshops in both the US and abroad, including beautiful Ketchum, Idaho and Florence, Italy.

Radding is a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists, also serving on the board. She maintains memberships in the American Society of Botanical Artists, the New England Society of Botanical Artists, the Lyme Art Association and the New England Watercolor Society.

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Diane D. Mason

Treasurer – Berthoud, CO

Diane has a passion for animals and the fine arts.  She received a B. S. degree from Purdue University in 1973, with majors in both Ethology (natural animal behavior) and Industrial Psychology. She worked in Human Resources for several years following graduation. Since 2000, she has operated D. D. Mason Sculpture, LLC. Her bronze sculptures have been acquired by several nationally known botanical and sculpture gardens and can be found in private and corporate collections around the world.

Diane has been on the Executive Board for the Society of Animal Artists since 2004 serving as the board President from 2008 – 2013, and as the Treasurer since that time.  She also served on the Executive board of the American Women Artists from 2014 – 2019 and served as Treasurer for that organization from 2015 -2019. Diane is a Signature member of the Society of Animal Artists and a Master Signature member of the American Women Artists.

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Bob Mason

Executive Director – Berthoud, CO

Bob earned a BS in Business Management and Computer Science from Purdue University and an MBA from Webster University. He has held manager and director positions in finance and technology for several companies, including two fortune 100 companies. Areas of responsibility included business management, accounting, information technology and telecommunications.

After retiring from corporate life in 2001, he partnered with his wife, Diane, to run D.D. Mason Sculpture, LLC where Diane is the creative force, and he handles the financial and technology side. Bob began his association with the Society of Animal Artists (SAA) when Diane was elected to their board in 2004. He joined the SAA as their Executive Director serving from 2008 to 2018. In 2018, he was elected to the SAA board of directors and has been the Board’s Chief Financial Officer from 2018 to today.

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James Coe

Hannacroix, NY

Longtime resident of New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley, James Coe is an artist with a passion for birds and nature. He studied biology at Harvard and received his MFA from Parson’s School of Design. He began his career as a field guide illustrator and is best known as the author and illustrator of the Golden Field Guide Eastern Birds.

 

A Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society and Society of Animal Artists, he has long shown in the Woodson Art Museum’s "Birds in Art" annual and in 2011 was recognized as the Museum's 32nd Master Artist.
 

With his work in the collections of the New York State Museum, Bell Museum of Natural History, Museum of American Bird Art at MassAudubon, the Hiram Blauvelt and Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museums, Jim has been featured in many publications, including Harvard Magazine, Plein Air, Wildlife Art, American Art Collector, and Bird Watcher's Digest. During the 25 years that the Bennington Center for the Arts was in operation, Jim exhibited his work in many of the Center’s shows and was the recipient of numerous awards, including first prize in the inaugural Laumeister Competition.  

 

He has served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Animal Artists for more than a decade. He also serves on the Board as Secretary of the Greene Land Trust, a growing land conservation organization active in the Hudson Valley and eastern Catskills of New York.

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Wes Siegrist

Grandview, TN

Wes is a water-colorist currently focusing on miniature painting. Alongside his artist wife, Rachelle, he has an exhibition of their miniature paintings traveling to 45 museums and cultural centers in the United States and Canada. His paintings can be found in museums and private collections around the world. He is the author of several books on Miniature Art.

 

Wes has served on many art organization boards over the years and is a member of The Miniature Artists of America (Signature Member; Webmaster), the Miniature Art Society of Florida, and the Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, DC.

 

Wes is a Distinguished Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists and served on the board of from 2012 to 2017. In 2018 he became the Executive Director for the Society of Animal Artists, an international nonprofit organization representing over 500 members from 25 countries.

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