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Art Gone Wild at Rolling Hills Zoo

KSAL Staff - September 14, 2016 4:37 pm

Rolling Hills Zoo will be hosting Salina’s only Plein Air event during Art Gone Wild on Saturday, September 17th.  During this one-day explosion of art in the park, thirty regional artists will be set up on the Zoo grounds where they will be drawing their inspiration from the diverse beauty around them.

“We have artists coming from as far away as Topeka, Kansas City and Great Bend, KS,” shared Linda Henderson, Director of Development & Marketing at Rolling Hills Zoo.  “We will also have a variety of mediums that will be represented including watercolor, acrylic, pastels, photography, fiber art, oil, sculpture and ceramic.  The diversity in art on Saturday will be wonderful!”

Plein air is a French word for painting in the open air and it describes an artist painting outdoors in natural light as they observe their subject matter.  In its truest sense, plein air painting challenges artists to paint directly from life while channeling the quickly changing environment onto paper or canvas.

Originally, Art Gone Wild was a way for the zoo keepers to showcase the Zoo’s animal artists during their enrichment activities. As part of their training and enrichment, many of the animals at Rolling Hills Zoo enjoy painting, with some even selecting the ‘proper’ brush and their favorite color of paint.  As the event’s popularity has grown through the years it became clear that it was time to take Art Gone Wild to the next level by incorporating art in many forms throughout the Zoo.

“Nature is everywhere and the beauty of nature is reflected in art, from the literal to the abstract, and serves as a reminder of our need to protect the natural world around us,” commented Henderson.

This year’s Art Gone Wild Plein Air event will not only feature regional artists and animal artists, but will also include six exciting children’s art stations, performing art, a dance clinic and a paintball art experience.

“We have an great line-up for our children’s art stations that include bottle cap art, Sharpie art and cow milking art,” commented Henderson.  “Kids will also get to design their own kites and fly them, and build their own string-puppets and perform with them on the puppet stage.”

Prestige School of Dance will be holding a children’s dance clinic with Rolling Hills Zoo that day as well.  The dance clinic will use animal movements to create a modern dance.  The dance clinic will be held from 1 – 3 p.m. for kids ages 5 to 12 years of age in the RHZ’s Wildlife Museum Conference Center. The cost of the clinic is $20 per child.

Another unique art event during Art Gone Wild will be the “paintball experience”.  Participants will be able to “paint” under the guidance of Elite Sports Paintball, paintball event co-sponsors, using a paintball gun to create a three part mural.  Three paint ball sessions will be held at 9:30 a.m., Noon and 3:00 p.m. to paint the sky, the landscape and the animals.

Then on Saturday, October 1, Rolling Hills Zoo will be unveiling the Art Gone Wild Gallery Show in the Earl Bane Gallery.  Featured in the Gallery Show will be over 120 art pieces, including the plein air art pieces created on the 17th, by the plein air artists and other regional artists who were not able to attend the plein air event.  Also on exhibit will be the Rolling Hills Zoo’s animal art, children’s art created during the plein air event and the paintball mural.  The Gallery Show will be on exhibit through January 8, 2017, and is included in the price of admission to the Zoo.

For additional information about Art Gone Wild go to:  www.rollinghillszoo.org or call 785-827-9488.

City of Salina