Easel Weasels: 8 Amazing Artistic Animals

Rhino Rembrandt

(images via: Saint Louis Zoo)

Animal artwork isn’t all fun & games, though it IS meant to be enjoyable for the animals. At the Saint Louis Zoo, keepers offered paints and brushes to some of their charges – they didn’t eat them; they used these tools to create some very appealing artworks. Among the creatures selected for artistic activities are orangutans, chimpanzees, gorillas and even an endangered Black Rhinoceros who eschewed paintbrushes in favor of its own lips.

(images via: Saint Louis Zoo)

Did you know there’s a thriving market out there for animal art? Proceeds from sales of selected animal artworks benefit the St. Louis Chapter of American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK), and are channeled towards projects and programs dedicated to preserving endangered and threatened animal species.

Porcupine Online

(images via: Blouin ArtInfo and Huffington Post)

When animals at the Tulsa Zoo are in need of behavioral enrichment, mental stimulation or just a little distraction following a medical procedure, out come the paints, palettes and paper! Even better, the critters’ finished “works” are subsequently put up for auction online at the Tulsa Zoo’s website. See that 16×20 red & green canvas shown in mid-composition above? Maggie the porcupine’s masterpiece was listed for a cool $100.

Love Will Tear Us Ape Art

(images via: Kyoto University of Art and Design)

Art created by chimpanzees has been compared to that of human toddlers but while the kids progress in all facets, the chimps remain at that level. Researchers at Japan’s Kyoto University of Art and Design have been investigating chimpanzee art and the chimps that create it, hoping for some insight into the characters of our closest genetic relatives.

(image via: Kyoto University of Art and Design)

One of the most prolific chimpanzee artists at KUA&D is “Ai”, which means “love” in Japanese. Ai’s painting above was sent to Dr. Sally Boysen, whose work with chimpanzees at Ohio State University gave tantalizing clues about the primates’ rudimentary ability to read and perform mathematical calculations. Perhaps similarly to their human cousins, chimps like Ai may lean towards artistic expression while others are more practical-minded.