The Great Apes Come To SOHA Gallery, And They Paint Masterpieces
SOHA Studio & Gallery, in association with the Saint Louis Zoo’s great ape keepers present The Great Apes Paint Exhibit and Fundraiser, showcasing great ape-produced masterpieces. The opening reception kicks off Friday, Nov. 8 from 6pm to 10pm at SOHA.
Professionally framed, original works of art by the zoo’s Fragile Forest/Jungle of the Apes’ residents will be exhibited and for sale in a variety of sizes and will include information about the artists. Beautifully photographed portraits of the ape artists by photographer Jess Dewes will also be for sale. As an added enticement, a significant portion of the proceeds from the art sale goes directly to conservation efforts for wild great apes.
The fun continues on Sunday, Nov. 10, from 11am to 4pm for Family Day, when children and adults can enjoy games and crafts, including painting with their toes as the apes do and other ape enrichment programs. For those curious about great apes, zookeepers will be on hand to answer questions about these magnificent beasts.
If you really want to learn about the great apes, or own one of their masterpieces, plan to attend a free conservation lecture by Dr. Crickette Sanz on Nov. 13 at 7pm. Dr. Sanz is an assistant professor in the department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. Zookeepers will also be on hand to answer questions. By purchasing a painting, attendees can help support the great apes.
So why do the apes need help? According to SOHA Studio and Gallery, the Saint Louis Zoo’s Fragile Forest and Jungle of the Apes provide safe habitats for chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas not only at the zoo, but helps apes in the wild as well. At one time, more than one million Chimpanzees lived in Africa.
Today, perhaps only 150,000 survive. Scientists estimate hundreds of thousands of Sumatran orangutans could be found 10,000 years ago throughout Southeast Asia—even in southern China. Today, only 10-25,000 still survive. All types of Western Lowland Gorillas are in serious danger of extinction in the wild. Western gorillas number only about 110,000. Eastern gorillas are even more rare: one subspecies, the eastern lowland gorilla, numbers only about 10,000, while the mountain gorilla subspecies numbers just a few hundred. And they can paint.