Welcome to the second annual “Animal Art Show” featuring Oakland Zoo’s amazing artists - the animals! Would you like a one-of a kind painting created by an elephant? A lemur? A hyena? Even a cockroach? You’ve come to the right place. Not only will you have a unique and original work of art, 100% of the proceeeds from the sales of these masterpieces will go to support Oakland Zoo’s conservation programs for animals in the wild.
Take a look below for a sneak peek at the many animal artists that participated in this year’ show. The finished artwork will be available to view online in the coming weeks. Each painting will be framed and include a photo of the artist as well as his or her biography.
Please know that none of the animals were forced or coerced into participating. The painting sessions were conducted using only positive-reinforcement methods and the animals were freely allowed to refuse participation at any time during the painting sessions.
Bidding opens on September 10th on Ebay! So get ready to bid and know that each dollar you spend directly helps animals all over the world!
Check back then for links to each masterpiece as a finished, framed artwork including the artist’s photo!
Donna, an African elephant
Donna, 35, came to OZ in 1989. She very quickly became the the dominant female because she had the biggest attitude. She is the most playful out of the girls and loves to have big play bouts at nighttime with large tractor tires and will charge into the pool for a cool down! Personality-wise Donna is impatient, loves to participate in training, and is closely bonded with Lisa, whom she sleeps with every night. Donna is a naturally playful elephant whose exuberance is demonstrated in her Zoro-like brush strokes. Each elephant has a different method of painting, Donna’s is long forceful strokes.
See Donna painting in this short video!
Bid on Donna’s first painting here or second painting here.
Zoe, an Hyena
Meet Zoe, our matriarch female Spotted Hyena. At age 23, she is the oldest female in our clan and likes to remind everyone that she is in charge. Zoe joined our Oakland Zoo family in 2012 and became a breast cancer survivor this summer. Zoe loves laying in the sun and eating everything available- keepers reward her with milk to get her colorful footprints on canvas. She is happy to support conservation for her fellow carnivores as long as she gets a treat out of it!
Bid on Zoe’s first painting here or second painting here.
Benghazi, a Reticulated giraffe
Benghazi was born at the Oakland Zoo to his mom, Tiki. He is quite a unique gentleman and an extremely charismatic giraffe. “Ben” as we call him, loves to interact with keepers and other people that visit his area, especially if they have delicious snacks. He has quite an appetite! He is eager to participate in training sessions and is always the first one to approach the new toys we make for them. He not only enjoys painting with his keepers but also likes to play music with his tambourine, maracas, and jingle bells.
Bid on Benghazi’s first painting here or second painting here.
Ting Ting, a Sun Bear
Ting Ting is an elderly sun bear who was rescued from the pet trade when she was cub. Too old to be released back into the wild, she became an ambassador for her species by living at Oakland Zoo where everyone can come meet her. Ting Ting’s loves avocado, corn, dried fruits...and occasionally some peanut butter- one of her favorites. On this canvas, Ting Ting has captured her paw prints in order to raise money for conservation.
Bid on Ting Ting’s first painting here or second painting here.
Hahnuman, a Siamang
Hahnuman is a species of lesser ape called the siamang. In the wild, his species is found on the island of Sumatra (Indonesia) and on the Malay peninsula. Hahnuman was born at Oakland Zoo almost 20 years ago, he can often be seen resting on the platforms high in his exhibit. Sometimes, you can hear Hahnuman and his brother, Ganesha, making the distinct siamang call, which is used by their wild counterparts to declare their territory. For his art piece to help conservation, Hahnuman has made a colorful fingerpainting.
Bid on Hahnuman’s first painting here or second painting here.
Jennifer the Lemur
Jennifer Lemur is the more mellow of twins born to Amy Lemur. While her sister appears to desire a roll in leadership like their mother, Jennifer is content to sit back and meditate in the morning sunlight. She may plan a day full of tree climbing, , napping, searching for treats hidden in her exhibit and grooming her family and friends. Listening to the tales of her neighbors, the Aldabra Tortoises, is another of her favorite pastimes and she especially enjoys the tales of their youthful escapades, so many years ago. She plans on continuing her painting and feels it’s the perfect outlet for her natural creativity.
Bid on Jennifer’s first painting here or second painting here.
The Meerkat Mob
Meerkats in the wild work as a collective to build tunnels, look for food, keep the group safe, and raise their pups. Our group at the Oakland Zoo, made up of related family members, are just like their wild counter parts. They are curious by nature and enjoy investigating any novel items the keepers put in their environment. This art piece was a collective effort of exploration and curiosity.
Bid on the Meerkat’s painting here.
Jeffrey, a Nigerian Dwarf Goat
Jeffrey Goat is the first born of quadruplet goat kids. Though he is larger than his siblings he has an emotional and sensitive side to him, as is normal for those born under the sign of the Fish. Like other Pisces before him such as Jon Bon Jovi and Rihanna , Jeffrey enjoys music and is writing his first song called ‘Cud’ it Get Any Better? The song reflects his life as an attractive and popular goat living in a petting zoo. When not composing music, Jeffrey enjoys sports and is a faithful Green Bay fan.
Bid on the Jeffrey’s painting here.
Maggie, a Nigerian Dwarf Goat
Maggie Goat was the last of quadruplets to enter the world. She had a rough beginning. Being the last of four babies squished in a space built for two, she came out a bit crumpled. Her left leg needed a splint and she had to be assisted during nursing bouts. But very soon her leg strengthened and she was scooting around with her three siblings! She now spends her days being groomed by guests, eating browse and chewing cud. She is contemplating writing a memoir called ‘Rumen’ Board about growing up at Oakland Zoo.
Bid on the Maggie’s painting here.
Bam, a Chuckwalla
Bam the chuckwalla was born at Oakland Zoo last December. He lives off exhibit in the RAD Room along with his 3 brothers 2 sisters. Chuckwallas are known for being able to inflate air sacks in their sides and wedging themselves into crevices to prevent predators from pulling them out. When he’s not painting, you can find Bam basking on his favorite rock or nibbling on his favorite food, rose petals and a fruit and veggie mash.
Bid on the Bam’s painting here.
Ada, a snake
My name is Ada, and I am a ball or royal python. I was hatched out of a leathery egg nearly 17 years ago, and lived as a pet for several years. I was given to the Oakland Zoo where I am not only ambassador for my species but also an crusader for conservation. Who knew that my penchant for exploring would translate into a career as a visual artist? Royal pythons are a fascinating small African python (we grow to perhaps 6 feet), whose stunning gold and brown patterns allow us be superb ambush predators of small mammals and birds.
Bid on the Ada’s painting here.
Bernie, a Chimpanzee
This is Bernie, a 23 year-old male common chimpanzee. You can see Bernie food barking (a “happy” sound associated with being excited about food) and holding a special treat in this photo, a frozen cantaloupe. To keep great apes mentally stimulated we provide them with different enrichment opportunities throughout the day to interact with and manipulate their environment. Painting is a great way for chimpanzees to challenge themselves and express creativity in a visible form. With 2,000 common chimpanzees in U.S. Zoos alone, we often forget that they are endangered with only 170,000 left in the wild.
Bid on Bernie’s first painting here or second painting here.
Sandy, a lion
Sandy was just a four month-old cub when police discovered her in a suspect’ home in Houston, TX back in 2000. Both she and her brother were starving, dehydrated, flea ridden, and their coats were patchy and dry. She and her brother, Leonard, came to Oakland Zoo a month later and today have taken ownership of the lion exhibit, hearts of staff, ZooKeepers and guests alike. While their beginnings in the exotic animal trade surely could have destined them to a life of cruelty, we were fortunate to have been able to provide them with a safe and forever home here at the zoo.
Bid on Sandy’s first, second, third, fourth, or fifth painting here.
Jenny, a Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo
Jenny is a sulfur-crested cockatoo who is getting fancy with her paintbrush to help save endangered animals in the wild. Cockatoos come from Australia, where they live in large flocks. In order to communicate with flockmates, cockatoos make a very loud call daily. This natural behavior does not change in captivity, so her keepers have to be very patient working with her (and maybe wear ear plugs). While Jenny’s Zoo diet is primarily composed of a specialized type of pellet for parrots and chopped produce, her favorite treats are peanuts, sunflower seeds and waxworms.
Bid on Jenny’s painting here.
Brock, a yellow-naped Amazon parrot
Brock is a yellow-naped Amazon parrot who was rescued while being illegally smuggled from Central America into the U.S. for the pet trade, an all-too common problem and the main reason this species is endangered. Amazon parrots are known for their excessive love of treats and Brock is no exception. Keeper staff have to monitor his weight closely to keep him healthy. For his art piece, Brock leaves a variety of colorful footprints to help raise money for his wild counterparts.
Bid on Brock’s first painting or second painting here .
Carmella, a ferret
Carmella is a three year-old domestic ferret that lives at Oakland Zoo as an ‘education animal’. This means she can be seen in zoo classes and birthday parties hosted by our Education department or sometimes out on Zoo grounds with one of our docents. Like most ferrets, she is very inquisitive and often on the move. Carmella tends to be more reserved, while her sister Marcella is known for letting her curiosity get the best of her.
Bid on Carmella’s painting here.
Andy ‘Roach’-all, a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
Commonly thought to hiss through their mouths, Madagascar hissing cockroaches actually hiss through a port in their sides. A full grown Madagascar hissing cockroach can reach 2.5”, fairly large! Males, like Andy have horn-like protrusions above their head that they use to battle with other males. We feed our roaches sweet potatoes, carrots, romaine lettuce, and monkey chow biscuits - a great source of protein.
Bid on Andy’s painting here.
Pythagoras and Peru, Squirrel Monkeys
Squirrel monkeys are naturally curious and some are more bold than others. Here is Pythagoras (a 3 year old male) and Peru (a 16 year old female) two of our bolder monkeys that were the first to interact with the canvas. Squirrel monkeys have at least 25 different vocal calls, and you can hear our group of 12 “twittering” to each other as they explore the trees of their exhibit.
Bid on Pythagoras and Peru’s painting here.
Brutus, a bat
Brutus is a 16 year-old male Malayan flying fox. He loves bananas and will follow keepers and volunteers all over the exhibit during feedings until they put out a piece of banana. Most people don’t realize it, but bats are very important to people. In the wild, fruit and nectar-eating bats are important pollinators and seed dispersers for many plants that are important to humans such as the agave plant (which makes tequila). Their insect-eating cousins are also extremely important to agriculture - they eat several hundred tons of pest insects saving farmers millions of dollars each year in pest control. By purchasing this artwork, you are supporting the conservation of these animals and many more like them.
Bid on Brutus’s painting here.
Wyatt, a North American River Otter
Wyatt is a 5 year-old male North American river otter. He’s only been at Oakland Zoo for a year but quickly became a favorite with keepers and volunteers with his easy-going, good-natured personality and his intelligence. He loves to swim in the large pools in the exhibit and delights guests by pushing off the sides of the pools and swimming upside down. North American river otters are a conservation success story. By the 1970s they were in serious peril due to trapping for fur, habitat degradation, and water pollution. Due to many efforts including the Clean Water Act, North American river otters have made a recovery and are now the only otter species whose numbers are not in decline. When making their art, the otters usually add a personal touch by leaving a few of their prized hairs on the canvas. Bid on Wyatt’s painting here.
Maskini, a Vervet “Green Monkey”
Maskini has been the dominant female of our vervet (green monkey) troop since their arrival at the Oakland Zoo in 1998. She is often the first one in the group to explore new things and alert the group of any dangers. The keepers strive to create new novel items to let them explore in their environment. Maskini was one of the first monkeys to show interest in using the painting easel.
Bid on Maskini’s painting here.