By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Art Gone Wild, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s wildest animal art show, is returning for 2019. After taking a break in 2018, the OKC Zoo has announced that the Art Gone Wild exhibit will take place downtown at the Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 West Reno.
The exhibition runs Thursday, August 22 through Monday, September 16, in the Crystal Bridge south lobby. Lobby hours, during which attendees can view and purchase pieces, are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Art Gone Wild is open to the public and free to attend.
The Zoo’s newest collection of wildlife art features over 200 original paintings that highlight the artistic talents of various Zoo animals including Asian elephants, California sea lions, giraffe, Sumatran and Amur tigers, Western lowland gorillas and more.
Guests are invited to visit the Zoo and meet the animals that make Art Gone Wild possible.
Creating art is stimulating for the animals who are guided by their caretakers who are on-hand to assist in the painting process. Each animal expresses their creative abilities in their own way.
Some animals use specially adapted tools such as paintbrushes while others paint using their trunks, flippers, noses and paws.
According to a press release, all of the art created by Zoo animals is made with safe, non-toxic paint. Painting sessions are done voluntarily by the animals as part of the Zoo’s enrichment program. Enrichment activities are designed by the Zoo’s animal experts to continually improve and enhance the lives of the animals in their care.
In addition to providing enrichment for the Zoo’s animals, all net proceeds from Art Gone Wild benefit the Zoo’s conservation initiatives and partners.
One such program is the OKC Monarch Garden School Grant Program. The Zoo has partnered with Myriad Botanical Gardens, Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinator Collaborative (aka Okies for Monarchs), and National Wildlife Federation (NWF), to increase habitat for monarchs and other pollinators in decline.
This program provides grants to Oklahoma City metro area schools to create monarch gardens and to train teachers on how to incorporate their new gardens into their classes. Net proceeds from Art Gone Wild will help to make this project possible.
The Art Gone Wild exhibit will feature original paintings ranging in price from $35 to $300 depending upon the canvas size.
To learn more about Art Gone Wild, call Zoo Guest Relations at 405-425-0262 or click here.
Zoo hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Buildings close at 4:45 p.m. daily. Guests must exit grounds at closing time. 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, call 405-424-3344 or visit www.okczoo.org.