- August 22– September 16, 2019
- South Lobby, Crystal Bridge
- Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm
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 canvas. 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.