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African Animals as artists ...create Art sold at Ebay seriously

For decades, zoos and aquariums across the country have encouraged animals to paint as a way to keep the penned-up denizens mentally enriched. Typically, the paintings were discarded or set aside.

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But the Associated Press reports that officials have recently discovered that animal lovers are willing pay even thousands of dollars for the creatures’ creations, prompting zoos across the country to study whether their animal artists, such as Brittany the elephant at the Milwaukee County Zoo, might be an untapped source of revenue.

Ebay African art auction: Elephant Eat your heart out picasso

Photo: Morry Gash/Associated Press
Artistic animals provide zoos an untapped source of revenue, sell elephant list at Ebay ?

By Francisco Vara-Orta
& Dinesh Ramde, Associated Press Writer May 7, 2008 found at latimesblogs.latimes.com

MILWAUKEE — Brittany wields her paintbrush with confidence, slapping it roughly against the canvas to produce streaks of green or smears of orange. With apparent pride, she steps back, inspects her work — and extends her trunk to receive a freshly loaded paintbrush.

 

Brittany, an African elephant, is doing her small part to pay her way at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Her artwork is sold at the zoo’s gift shop to raise funds.

 

This painting pachyderm is far from the only artistic animal in captivity. For years zoos and aquariums across the country have encouraged animals to paint as a way to keep the penned-up denizens mentally enriched. Typically, the paintings were discarded or set aside.

 

But officials have recently discovered that animal lovers are willing pay hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars for the creatures’ creations, prompting zoos across the country to study whether their animal artists might be an untapped source of revenue.

 

The Milwaukee zoo’s gift shop sells about 36 of Brittany’s paintings each year for $30 each.

“She really seems to enjoy painting — she likes creating new things,” elephant trainer Danielle Faucett said. “But we only do it about once a month because we want to make sure the activity remains mentally stimulating.”

 

Brittany is an eager artist. Her ears flare out as she attacks the canvas, swiping at it almost like Zorro wielding a sword, and she finishes in a matter of minutes while Faucett coos words of encouragement.

The menagerie of animals that can brandish a brush is seemingly endless. At zoos nationwide, painters include chimpanzees, kangaroos, ocelots, red pandas and even a rhinoceros and Komodo dragon, said Jackie Marks, spokeswoman for the Assn. of Zoos & Aquariums in Silver Spring, Md.

 

One especially profitable painter is Towan, a 40-year-old orangutan at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. For Valentine’s Day, the zoo auctioned a pair of his paintings on EBay for a total of more than $1,300.

 

As lucrative as Towan’s works have been, keepers can only get him to produce a limited number of paintings.

 

“If you try to get him to do it two days in a row, he won’t pick it up on the second day,” said zoo spokeswoman Gigi Allianic. “You can’t make it routine for the animal or they lose interest.”

 

That’s the challenge for most zookeepers, who say they won’t sacrifice an animal’s enrichment for the sake of making a quick buck. Also, some animal artists can be as temperamental as their human counterparts.

 

Sea lions ply the painting trade with their mouths — they hold a stick in their teeth from which a paintbrush juts out in a T shape. But when they don’t want to paint, no amount of cajoling can convince them otherwise, said Henry Kacprzyk, a curator with the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

 

“If they don’t want to participate, they’ll just ignore you, they’ll leave,” he said of his zoo’s three sea lions. “There’s not much you can do — they swim faster than we do.”

 

Artistic “talent” seems as diversely distributed among animals as among humans, zoo officials say.

 

Just as some people are more artistically inclined than others, so, too, is the case for chimps, elephants and so on. Some animals are eager participants while others turn up their noses — or trunks — at the sight of a brush.

 

Of course, beauty — and artistic talent — are in the eyes of the beholder. People who buy animal paintings are rarely art aficionados. Instead, they’re typically animal lovers who know the money is going toward a good cause.

 

But some animal artwork can be surprisingly valuable, none more so than three paintings produced in the 1950s by a chimpanzee named Congo. The abstracts sold in 2005 for a total of $26,352 at a London auction where competing works by Renoir and Andy Warhol languished unsold.

 

 

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In this section:
Start
Omhoog
Modern tribal art
African-textiles
Contemporary art
Monaco-Arts-Africa
African-vibes
Africa screams
Africa-remix
Documenta Madrid
African-words
Shona stone family sculpture
hairstyles - Blaffer gallery
Twins-Seven-Seven
Jean Pigozzi
Miami art museum-Mutu
River Crossing
Fiber-Art
airbrush art gallery
contemporary art
Seydou Keyta
Zanzibar artists
modern african art
museum of modern art
Cape Africa
art fairs list
Ifa Lethu
guggenheim bilbao
zimbabwe stone art
South African paintings
code coverage tool c
African American food
expanding Africa
primitivism revisited
Chapunga sculpture park
fire in the heart
tribal tattoos
south africa gallery
african encounters
architecture of the veil
blood art
Shona stone sculptures
Contemporary African Diasporan Arts
south african art
Contemporary art from Africa
jose vermeersch
Is It Art
Ebay African Art 

African art books

The Tribal Arts of Africa

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

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read also : Start ] Modern tribal art ] African-textiles ] Contemporary art ] Monaco-Arts-Africa ] African-vibes ] Africa screams ] Africa-remix ] Documenta Madrid ] African-words ] Shona stone family sculpture ] hairstyles - Blaffer gallery ] Twins-Seven-Seven ] Jean Pigozzi ] Miami art museum-Mutu ] River Crossing ] Fiber-Art ] airbrush art gallery ] contemporary art ] Seydou Keyta ] Zanzibar artists ] modern african art ] museum of modern art ] Cape Africa ] art fairs list ] Ifa Lethu ] guggenheim bilbao ] zimbabwe stone art ] South African paintings ] code coverage tool c ] African American food ] expanding Africa ] primitivism revisited ] Chapunga sculpture park ] fire in the heart ] tribal tattoos ] south africa gallery ] african encounters ] architecture of the veil ] blood art ] Shona stone sculptures ] Contemporary African Diasporan Arts ] south african art ] Contemporary art from Africa ] jose vermeersch ] Is It Art ] [ Ebay African Art ]

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