Friday, September 5, 2008

A penguin artist

Peep gobbles down her share of smelt and capelin just like the other penguins at the Tennessee Aquarium. However, this gentoo penguin still finds room for more fishy treats while she is creating artwork behind-the-scenes at Penguins' Rock.

The painting sessions are offered as an enrichment activity for the birds in the gallery back-up area. "Anything that is new and different is exciting for the animals. And painting is one activity that helps keep their minds active and healthy," said Amy Graves, senior aviculturist at the Aquarium. "The door is always open during the painting sessions so the penguins don't get stressed. They simply come and go as they please."

Although not well known in fine art circles, Peep's artwork will go in front of a global audience of potential bidders. On Tuesday, September 16, the Auction Network will conduct a live auction featuring artwork created by animals from zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). An original painting called, "Happy Feet" by Peep will be one of the numerous pieces up for sale during The Arts by Animal auction, which will be broadcast online in high-definition beginning with a special pre-show at 4 p.m. EDT, followed at 5 p.m. with the live auction.

This three-hour live auction is expected to draw a worldwide audience, and will feature appearances by wildlife celebrities Jack Hanna and Nigel Marven. People are encouraged to visit now to view the entire catalog, see video bios on the animal artist and even place proxy bids before the auction begins.

Source: Newschannel9

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