On June 1st the Greater Lansing Visitors and Convention Bureau
coordinated "Be a Tourist in Your Own Town" by convincing over 70
businesses and attractions to waive their admission fees and hold special
events - all to celebrate how much art, culture and entertainment our city
has. At Potter Park Zoo they threw a
truly wild party by celebrating International Migratory Bird Day on June 1st as
well! One of the main components of the
Individual Artist Grant that I received from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing was "community impact".
I couldn't have picked a better day or a better place to get more people
in our community as passionate about painting wildlife as I am. I knew it would be a busy day, but I had no idea
how busy! I prepared over 70 canvases,
did line drawings of a Bengal Tiger, a Wood Duck and numerous varieties of
butterflies for children of all ages to create art with me. I also brought my trusty side kick and sister
Christine along, and thank goodness I did!
4,687 visitors came to the zoo that day!
I was set up down by the duck pond on a deck with a canopy in case of
rain. The rain held off all day and we
had a great time painting. I don't think
any kids that passed by didn't stop to paint.
I did a line drawing of a Wood Duck in honor of Migratory Bird Day and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service asked me to promote their Federal Junior Duck Stamp contest. We had so many kids painting that 2
hours before the event ended I ran out of canvases and paper to paint on! The last few kids that came through painted on
the copy paper I had printed the line drawings on. Christine kept them supplied with paint, brushes and paper while I gave them direction but they knew what they wanted to paint and they did a great job with or without my guidance. We had all ages from 2 years on up, even had a
young couple sit down and paint the Wood Duckstogether. I was
very impressed with how well behaved and eager to paint the children
were. I am looking forward to another great turnout when I return to
the zoo on July 19th, August 17th and again on October 5th. Come paint with me and try your hand at art!