WORLD OF THE WILD
Zoos are wonderful resources for wildlife artists, and my job would be a lot tougher without a few of them around. We have a pretty decent zoo here in Salt Lake called Hogle Zoo—in recent years they've taken to calling themselves “Utah's Hogle Zoo,” for the benefit of amnesiacs and escaped interstate kidnappees. I used to hitchhike down there as a kid about once a week and hop the fence, and I still spend lots of time there each year, observing and sketching the inmates. The highlight of the place for me is the Small Animals Building, which houses a good collection of reptiles, amphibians and small mammals. There is a central tropical atrium that houses numerous species of free-flight birds, where I led hordes of kids from the City School District in a wildlife art instruction program last fall (below).
For the past dozen years, Hogle Zoo has organized an exhibition of animal art called World of the Wild, that features about 100 pieces of sculpture and flatwork, much of it very good. This year, the director, Jameson Weston, decided to spotlight a featured artist, and I'm happy to report that the honor has fallen to me. If you're in the Salt Lake area, consider dropping by for the opening reception tomorrow (Friday), February 9th, from 7 until 9pm. (UPDATE: Oops!! I've just been notified that you need an invitation to get into the reception tomorrow--sorry!) The zoo won't even charge admission that evening (though I may jump the fence just for old-time's sake). In addition to the work by other Utah artists, ten paintings of mine will be on display, including the original of the poster image shown above, depicting a Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata) and Panther Chameleon (Furcifer pardalis). Incidentally, both animals represent the forms of their species found on the little island of Nosy Mangabé, off the northeast coast of Madagascar. I'll also have a few copies of my book on hand. Come by tomorrow and have me sign one for you...or at least have me sign a poster. I might even spike your lemonade for you. The exhibit will continue through April 1, and can be viewed during regular zoo hours.
upper: poster featuring BLACK & WHITE RUFFED LEMUR & PANTHER CHAMELEON (2007) acrylic 18" x 24"
lower: photograph by Suzanne Grow