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Art in Knoxville has gone wild but is under control
By Jeaneane Payne

An unusual exhibition on September's agenda in Knoxville is "Artwork Gone Wild". Animal artists from the Knoxville Zoo will be presenting watercolor-based artwork from September 7-28 in the Balcony at the Emporium Center.

An opening reception will occur on September 7 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. as part of First Friday activities in downtown Knoxville. The art will be displayed as a preview to Knoxville Zoo's Art Gone Wild! event on Friday, September 21 from 6:00-8:30 p.m. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served at the after-hours art show at the zoo. The event is sponsored by Fast Frames.

Many animals at Knoxville Zoo are trained by their keepers to paint in the traditional sense, using brushes and/or fingers, including chimpanzees, gorillas, and elephants. Many more paint by walking over or stamping the canvas in a variety of colors. These paw painters include lions, tigers, meerkats, bears, Komodo dragon, penguins, and many other animals. All artwork is matted and ready for framing; most works include a photo of the artist, and all works include a certificate of authenticity with the artist's name.

The proceeds from this product help support the enrichment program at Knoxville Zoo. Knoxville Zoo's enrichment program is an integral part of the zoo's animal husbandry practices that ensures the physical and psychological well-being of the animals in the zoo's care. By incorporating interesting objects, scents and foods, as well as training and painting sessions into the daily activities the animals experience, zoo keepers make sure their charges are stimulated both mentally and physically. The zoo's enrichment program contributes significantly to the overall health and happiness of the animals and also has the benefit of improving the success of breeding programs and adaptability to new situations.

"Artwork Gone Wild" will be on display at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM with additional hours on Saturday, September 8, from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM. The exhibition will be removed from the Emporium September 20-24 for the Art Gone Wild event at the Zoo.

Published September 3, 2012

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