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25 October 2007

Animal Art!

If you had to guess if the above art was painted by a human or an elephant, what would you guess? I was pretty shocked to find out that this art was created by an elephant! While discussing art with friend at work, she revealed that she has always wanted a piece of artwork created by an elephant or gorilla. She professed that she is intrigued by these artists, and appreciates the fact that by purchasing the art she would be supporting the care and protection of these magnificent animals.

The elephants receive some training on how to paint from the Asian elephant art and conservation project. The Asian elephant is endangered, and much of the remaining population is domesticated. Ironically, these domesticated elephants were used by the logging industry to destroy their own habitat. Following a crack down on the logging industry in many parts of southeast Asia, these elephants and their trainers are out of work. The AEACP was designed to provide a safe and natural environment for the elephants, and some "work" for elephant trainer teams to keep them from illegally logging or having to joining the circus. After some initial training the elephants are let loose with their canvas to create! Elephants don't have to paint if they don't feel like it, and they are rewarded for their efforts. Each elephant has a very different style. I was completely amazed by the quality of the elephant art! The proceeds from each peice of elephant art is used to fund the conservation project.

The other project that my friend directed me towards was Koko and Michael's gorilla art at the Gorilla Foundation. The Gorilla Foundation's is "dedicated to the preservation, protection and well-being of gorillas through interspecies communication research and education." The foundation teaches Gorillas to communicate through American sign language. While the gorilla's art is more abstract than the elephant art, the gorilla's can communicate the meaning behind their artwork through sign language. I found the story behind "APPLE CHASE" by Michael to be really sweet.
Image from Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks! ;-)