“Our Bond With Nature” art exhibition 2018 sponsored by The Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS


This award is for a work of art, in any medium and style, that most powerfully conveys the importance of protecting and saving wildlife and wild places. 



The ForMotherNature.com Special Recognition Award is presented to Sherif Hakeem for his white charcoal drawing ‘Owl Monkey 1’.   

“It draws me in and keeps me spellbound. It makes me feel a connection. It is very personal, very intimate, one being sharing the Earth with another. It makes me want to do something more to help save wildlife and wild places. This is their world too.”    – Award presenter Cathy Berman, Founder of ForMotherNature.com


  • Sherif Hakeem - Chimp 1
  • Sherif Hakeem - Baby Gorilla 1
  • Sherif Hakeem - Owl Monkey 2
  • Sherif Hakeem - Chimp 2
  • Sherif Hakeem - Jungle In The Moonlight
  • Sherif Hakeem - Nurture
  • Sherif Hakeem - Baby Gorilla 1
  • Sherif Hakeem - Chimp 3
  • Sherif Hakeem - Hanuman Langur
  • Sherif Hakeem - Gorilla
  • Sherif Hakeem - Where Do I Go
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Sherif captures the life within wildlife.


A few questions for Sherif:

Why do you create portraits of wildlife?

I create portraits of wildlife because first and foremost, I have a deep love and devotion to the animal world and there is something intrinsically captivating and enthralling about the true nature of animals.  They do not hide their emotions and they lay their very being in view for the world to see in its rawest form. I use my gift of drawing to capture these raw emotions as I feel it brings out the best artist in me to represent them in the most realest way I can to do them justice.


How do you choose which animals to portray in your art?

The way in which I choose the animals is when I have an instant connection with the photograph I see of it, irregardless of any animal.  I am immediately captivated by animals that look like they are in wonder of the world they must live in, the hardship and solace of an animal, and the loving relationships between parent and child all beings of the world share.  It is these things I need to draw because they relate to human beings just the same.  It is a truly hard and barbarous world that we humans have to live and make our way through. Animals suffer hardships just the same in that they too deal with abuse, homelessness, no love or care, violence, and irrationality, and animals live through this ordeal on a daily basis because they must fight to survive as do some unfortunate people in the human world. So I strive to best represent animals in states that we humans also live through so that we can fully and deeply relate to the hardships of animals who cannot do anything but survive and do not have the luxury of working toward a better life as we do. My portraits brings humans and animals together in a much deeper way.


How does your choice of charcoal and paper affect your artwork?

My choice for creating my life-like pieces of art are thankfully not so many. It's a simple white charcoal pencil, rough black archival paper, and a kneaded eraser with some soft brushes for soft tones.  Because of the rough surface of the black paper, it picks up the white charcoal in such a way that it gives me a naturally rough surface and so this coincides with the choice of animal I may choose to draw considering they have rough textures that will lend that much more realism to the subject. It also allows me to create smooth surfaces when I apply many layers of charcoal and blend it out with my soft brushes, a cotton swab, or a Q-tip, so  the paper I use allows me to create both soft and especially rough surfaces to re-create either an animal with rough features such as a primate or an animal with soft features such as a dog, or feline.


What environmental nonprofits do you support and why did you choose them?

The non-profits I support are Endangered: Art 4 Apes, Save The Chimps, and Wildlife Conservation Society. I support Art 4 Apes because this non-profit helps promote primates by donating proceeds from artwork exhibited and sold in their art gallery to help raise awareness to the cause and I am so very excited to announce that I am an exhibiting artist in their gallery in Miami, Florida in their acceptance of my piece entitled, "Owl Monkey 1". I support Save the Chimps because they provide sanctuary and exemplary care to chimps in need. They provide safety, privacy, lifetime care, freedom from exploitation, and the best captive care possible to chimps who live in the sanctuary. I support the Wildlife Conservation Society because they work to conserve the world's largest wild places which is home to more than 50% of the world's biodiversity. The work that these organizations do for wildlife is reason enough to know why it is important to do our part as humans to help those who cannot help themselves and I hope people who read this article get engaged by supporting my artwork where portions of the proceeds will go to these and many other sanctuaries, conservation, and organizations while they own a beautiful piece of artwork of an animal that will flourish in the future because of their support.