By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The eighth annual OKC Zoo Art Gone Wild exhibit will open Friday, September 1 at the Myriad Botanical Garden at 301 West Reno, in Oklahoma City. The exhibit, showcasing the new masterpieces created by some of the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s talented animal artists, will be on display from September 1-30
The Art Gone Wild show will be on display in the Crystal Bridge, south lobby. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The exhibit features original paintings created for the Art Gone Wild show by a group of very special Zoo animals with assistance from their caregivers. Each animal develops their own method of painting – some using tools such as paintbrushes, while others create their artwork with their flippers, trunks, paws, tails and noses.
Guests will have the opportunity to view and even purchase the unique paintings displayed during the Art Gone Wild event, with prices starting as low as $55. All net proceeds benefit the Zoo’s conservation initiatives.
All of the art created by Zoo animals is made with safe, non-toxic paint.
According to a press release, painting sessions are done voluntarily by the animals. The process is part of the OKC Zoo enrichment programs developed by their caretakers to provide a stimulating environment which addresses the animal’s social, psychological and physical needs.
This year’s show features some exciting new artists including Rupert, an Indian rhinoceros, two of the Zoo’s new baby flamingos, and a group of very talented Galapagos tortoise juveniles “with an eye for the abstract” according to zoo staff.
Returning artists such as the great apes and Asian elephants were provided a few larger canvases than last year, and the Zoo can’t wait to showcase the brilliant results!
Guests are invited to visit the Zoo and meet the animals that make Art Gone Wild possible.
On Saturday, September 23, the OKC Zoo Monarch Madness 5K and 1-mile Fun Walk will be held from 8 – 10 a.m. The Zoo’s officially timed course represents the Monarch butterfly’s epic 4,000k migration from Canada to Mexico for winter. Every 1,000 meters, runners will encounter a themed water stop as they head to the finish line at the OKC Zoo entrance.
All participants will receive a tech t-shirt, timed bib number, a finisher medal and free general admission into the Zoo. Following the run, the annual Monarch Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with art, gardening and other butterfly related booths and activities.
According to the Zoo website, over the past 20 years, the monarch population has declined by over 80 percent due to loss of habitat in North America.
Online registration for the 5K Run or 1-mile Fun Walk is $35 for adults and $25 for kids. All net proceeds go towards Monarch butterfly conservation programs here in Oklahoma.
The Zoo hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults, and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.
For more information regarding Art Gone Wild or the Monarch 5K call Zoo Guest Relations at 405-425-0262. To learn more, visit www.okczoo.org.