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Amanda’s art debuted to public at zoo’s Primate Exhibit building last February. The opening exhibition produced over 400 people who came to bid on 22 of Amanda’s framed originals. The auction raised about $4,800 for zoo. A piece of Amanda’s art entitled: "Like Weather" took a hefty price, $360. And even though Amanda shares her cage with three other orangutans, she is, apparently, only latent artist with drive and talent.
She is also not shy about demonstrating her skills to onlookers and likes attention she gets as a result. Zoo spokeswoman Jennifer Lauerman says, "She definitely knows what is going on." And even though Amanda orangutan artist doesn’t get luxury of spending her funds, she would probably buy more bananas anyway.
Other animals too, have been taught to paint at various zoos around country. Ruby, elephant, has sold paintings for Phoenix Zoo and one of her creations netted almost $3,000. The Marine Science Center in Clearwater, Florida, has shown some dolphin art and in 1992, one of originals went for as much as $175. * * Ziggy, our soon-to-be twelve year old capuchin monkey loves artwork too, only she does not paint. I tried to introduce her to watercolor paints several times, but there was something about brushes she could not get over. As a consequence, her favorite medium is chalk, with crayons taking a close second. She often decorates sides of her cage, her toys, and a large, wooden hanging monkey with bright colors. In fact, I find chalk marks on almost any flat surface, including paper and unrequested mail.
If you would like to introduce your monkey to art, let them observe your actions more than a few times, supply non-toxic products, and as unobtrusively as possible, monitor their progress. For a reward, since boxed mixed drinks contain too much sugar, think about rewarding your budding artist with a tablespoon of low fat, low sugar yogurt in lid or offer a couple of Jello cubes.
Andrea Campbell is author of Bringing Up Ziggy: What Raising a Helping Hands Monkey Taught Me About Love, Commitment, and Sacrifice . See Andrea and Ziggy at their website at www.andreacampbell.com
Andrea Campbell is the author of eight books on a variety of topics. To find out more information about the author, check out her web site at: www.andreacampbell.com