OKC Zoo Art Gone Wild 2019

  • Visitor Lobby, Crystal Bridge
  • Exhibit run: August 22- Sep 16, 2019
  • Opening reception: August 22, 5-7pm

Art Gone Wild is a collection of paintings created by a wide variety of animals at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Participating species include elephants, giraffes, snakes, turtles, birds, tigers, bears, sea lions and many more. All of the art created by Zoo animals is made with safe, non-toxic tempera paint. 

Each animal has a unique method for painting, often with the help of some ingenious tools created by their caretakers. Some animals, like the snakes and turtles, slither and crawl across the canvasses. The more dexterous animals like the apes and elephants can actually grasp paintbrushes. Even the stingrays paint by knocking against an underwater mesh ball which is attached to an angled pole, moving the paintbrush at the pole’s opposite end.

All painting sessions are done voluntarily by the animals. The process is part of the enrichment programs developed by their caretakers. The goal is to provide a stimulating environment which addresses the animal’s social, psychological and physical needs.

In addition to providing enrichment for the Zoo’s animals, Art Gone Wild provides funding for the OKC Zoo’s conservation programs and partners. One example is the OKC Monarch Garden School Grant Program. The Zoo has partnered with Myriad Botanical Gardens, Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinator Collaborative, and National Wildlife Federation (NWF), to increase habitat for monarchs and other pollinators in decline by providing grants to Oklahoma City metro area schools to create monarch gardens. Net proceeds from Art Gone Wild help make this project possible.

Crystal Reverie exhibit in the Crystal Bridge by Rachel Hayes

  • Crystal Bridge at Myriad Gardens
  • August 17 – October 21, 2019
  • Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm
  • Free with Crystal Bridge admission
    • Free for members, $8 adults, $7 seniors/military/students

Artist Statement

I create art installations with textiles outside in nature, responding to and highlighting attributes in sites ranging from canyons, deserts, forests, lakes, and even my own backyard. I am excited to present work at Myriad Botanical Gardens, where my work is slightly protected from the elements of wind and water, yet still harnesses the sun while engaging with the natural world. The architecture of the Crystal Bridge and all the beautiful colors and textures found inside are both distinguished collaborators and muse. I use translucent materials that adapt easily to the environment in which I use them, as well as put emphasis on it. For me it is important to let the fabric drape as it naturally wants, let the layers of color build-up, let the sunshine through, let shadows happen, and to let the work and the environment meet in the middle. Sometimes an installation becomes a portrait of the textile piece, and other times the installation becomes a portrait of the surrounding landscape. I am open to letting it be both.

Permanent Sculpture

MBG muskrats

Sculpture Addition to the Children’s Garden

Thanks to a signature grant from the Fred Jones Family Foundation, the Myriad Botanical Gardens is delighted to announce that the commission of a charming “Prairie Dog” sculpture from renowned artist, Nancy Schȯȯn.  Look for this latest public art addition to the Children’s Garden.


Don Narcomey Storytelling chair

Story Teller Chair

Thanks to a generous gift from Gail and Bill Beals, local Oklahoma artist Don Narcomy has created a one-of-a-kind kind mystical throne that will sure to bring delight to children and families for many years of storytelling and reading in the Children’s Garden.


mbg gold fish

Gold Fish Sculpture

Located on the east side of the Crystal Bridge.

 “Gateway” Sculpture

Artist Hans Van de Bovenkamp created the 14-foot red abstract sculpture as a means to connect the organic forms of nature with urban architecture and the environment.  You can find this sculpture on the northwest corner of the Gardens.