San Francisco Zoo to auction art by beloved female gorilla

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 Zura’s works are part of  ‘Animal Artists in Residence’ Project

Zura, the beloved female Western Lowland gorilla at San Francisco Zoo.

The San Francisco Zoo will hold an auction featuring original works of art created by Zura, the zoo’s  34-year-old beloved female Western Lowland Gorilla. Partnering the zoo will be IfOnly, a marketplace for one-of-a-kind experiences benefiting charities, IfOnly announced in San Francisco, on Thursday.

Zura is the first animal to be featured as part of the Zoo’s “Animal Artists In Residents” project.

The three art works of Zura to be auctioned.

For each of the three paintings in this debut series,  Zura personally chose the colors and executed the brush stroke patterns on canvas in the same way a human artist would create a piece of art.

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All net proceeds from the purchase of each painting, which includes a San Francisco Zoo family membership and an Adopt-an-Animal gorilla package, support the Zoo and its charity, the San Francisco Zoological Society, which promotes wildlife conservation and animal engagement. The winner of each auction will also have the option of purchasing an exclusive talk with the gorilla keeper at the San Francisco Zoo, an experience that’s not available to the public and can only be purchased by auction winners.

“The most astounding thing for us is not that a Gorilla can paint, but that she can paint so well.  The art is really good and would look great on any wall,” said IfOnly CEO and founder, Trevor Traina.

Stepping, crawling or slithering

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The San Francisco Zoo’s new “Animal Artists in Residence” project will showcase original artwork created by animals who participate by stepping, crawling or slithering through water-based paint and across canvas, or others who actually use a brush such as Zura. The finished products are collectible, one-of-a-kind creations.

“We at the Zoo are always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for our animals and find new ways to connect people with the wonders of the animal kingdom.  Art is a universal language, so our ‘Animal Artists in Residence’ program is yet another way for us to spread the message of wildlife care and conservation,” explained Tim Wu, vice president of philanthropy for the San Francisco Zoo.

IfOnly has partnered with the San Francisco Zoo since last December, offering behind-the-scenes and exclusive, hands-on experiences available only on the site. To date, IfOnly has raised more than $85,000 for the San Francisco Zoo and its charity, the San Francisco Zoological Society, which works to further the Zoo’s mission of connecting people with animals, inspiring care for nature and advancing animal conservation. -PRNewswire.

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