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|Penguin Art Now Available for Purchase|
MYSTIC, Conn. – Black Friday may have passed, but at Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, every day is black… and white! For the first time ever, 40 original paintings created by the aquarium’s African penguins are available for purchase.
The paintings ($124.99) are currently available in the Aquarium Store and can be purchased online, along with the ornaments ($19.99), beginning December 5.
Creating these one-of-a-kind works with their feet is a form of enrichment for the penguins. First, they stick out their feet (they have been trained to do this as part of the aquarium’s animal care program), and a trainer dabs non-toxic paint on them. A canvas is laid on the floor, and the penguin is set down on it, free to waddle wherever it wants. Once the paint begins to fade, the penguin’s feet are cleaned, and a new color is applied. The penguin once again walks across the canvas to create a layer of hues. The ornaments are created in a similar way, with the trainer bringing the ornament to the penguin’s feet to capture their footprint.
The 16-inch-by-20-inch paintings are double-matted in white with black inner trim and encased in a black wood frame. They are available in four three-color combinations: dark red, blue and green; purple, blue and green; yellow, turquoise and purple; and raspberry, navy and yellow. The round ceramic ornaments are three inches in diameter and feature one footprint. Available footprint colors are red, green, blue, purple and black against a white background.
A portion of the proceeds from each sale will go toward the aquarium’s many penguin conservation efforts here and across the world. Over the last eight years, the world’s African penguin population has decreased by 42 percent. The penguins at the aquarium play an integral role in the African Penguin Species Survival Plan, and the aquarium staff’s work with them is helping researchers better understand penguins in the wild.
The Aquarium Store is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (gates close at 4 p.m.).
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