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May 19, 2005

For More Information, Contact:
Hema Sareen Mohan at (650) 688-6384


SACRAMENTO – State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) today announced his selection of Santa Cruz-based nature photographer Frans Lanting as Senate District 11’s Artist of the Year.

For more than two decades, Lanting has documented wildlife from the Amazon to the Antarctica.  He is credited for raising worldwide awareness of endangered animals.  Lanting’s work has been commissioned frequently by National Geographic, where he is a Photographer-in-Residence.

“Frans’s work reflects the environmental consciousness of our district,” Simitian said.  “It’s more than art.  It’s also a powerful medium to communicate the importance of conservation and preservation.”

“I am honored to serve as Artist of the Year,” Lanting said.  “I believe that this recognition of my work also reflects our region’s commitment to the environment.”
Lanting has received many other awards, including BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award.  In 2001, H.R.H. Prince Bernhard inducted him as a Knight in the Royal Order of the Golden Ark, the Netherlands’ highest conservation honor.  Lanting is a Trustee of the Foundation Board of the University of California Santa Cruz and serves on the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund.

The Senate started the Artist of the Year program in 1997 to recognize contemporary California art.  Each State Senator selects an artist from his/her district to exhibit their artwork in the State Capitol for a year.  Lanting’s photograph, “Penguins on Iceberg, Antarctica,” was hung in the State Capitol earlier this month. 

In addition to showcasing Lanting’s work in the Capitol, the Senate will also include his bio and an image of his work in their annual art collection catalogue. 


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