Sunday, February 22, 2009
Animal Art Expo
Last evening I attended the Animal Art Expo at the Seneca Park Zoo. What a wonderful evening and a great event! I got there early, so I waited in my car a bit, then I saw people lining up for tickets, so I got out and joined the line. It started to snow then, but lightly. I got my ticket and entered, one of the first people in. A golf cart drove me and another lady to the building where the event was being held. I figured we were the first people there. Wrong. I guess they admitted volunteers and staff in early as there was a bit of a crowd already there. I saw the painting of Admiral the Otter that I really liked-but it was already sold. This first room was the "direct buy" room. They had paintings hung all over with price tags. If you saw one you wanted, you informed staff who then gave you a ticket, you paid, returned and they put a sold sticker up. I saw a few paintings I liked. One I really liked by Aurora the Polar Bear-but it was $120, so I decided to pass. I was not going to leave without a painting, so I finally made my choice-a painting by Admiral. In addition to the animal art in this room, there were framed photographs of the animals for sale and a cash bar serving many different beers and wine. I didn't see a price, so I figured I'd check out the other areas first. In the hallway were docents with some animal visitors, so I said hello to the two birds and snake. Then I went to another larger L shaped room. Along 3 walls were paintings after paintings with small boxes next to them. All these paintings were part of the raffle. You could get 5 tickets for $5, 15 tickets for $10 and so on. There were so many nice paintings-I bought raffle tickets! I went around choosing a few ones I really liked. Lots of animals at the Seneca Park Zoo are painters! There were paintings by elephants, orangutans, rhinos, otters, penguins, cougars, hyenas, snakes, sea lions, even the hissing cockroach, smelt, and millipedes got involved! There was a separate raffle for a glass framed painting by one of the elephants as well.. That raffle was $5 per chance. Along the other walls and tables throughout the room were more paintings. These were for the silent auction. Each painting had a paper with a starting bid. Some started as low as $5 and went to start at $50. Increments were also varied-some you had to bid up by $1, others $2, some $5. I found a beautiful painting by Anna the Cougar. Opening bid was just $10-so I bid $12. Then I found the appetizers, they had pop and water as well as carrots, celery and dip, the best boneless buffalo style chicken wings, fried ravioli, and fried fish bites. All that included in your entry ticket ($3 for members like me and only $5 for nonmembers). Talk about a deal. Last chance for the silent auction and raffle ticket placement was 8:30. I found a beautiful wolf painting and placed the second bid on that. I checked on the cougar painting and saw I was outbid, I bid again. I checked on the wolf-instead of a $2 raise, the woman went from my $17 bid to $40! OK, I stopped bidding on that one! I went back to my cougar painting-outbid again. OK the competitive switch was thrown-that's MY painting, I'm bidding! It was getting close to 8:30 so I was hovering around that table. A woman I wanted to smack had just re upped the bid. I was going to wait a bit, then bid again. I went near another painting to get a pen when I heard one guy say to another, "no, she bypassed yours". There were 3 of us lying in wait for 3 paintings next to each other. I bid on mine. The husband of the annoying woman vying for my painting came over and saw my latest bid. He told her and I think she gave up. However, there were a few other people bidding as well, so I had to be careful. With only a few moments to go someone else bid. Nooooooo! I grabbed the pen and signed my name. And. . . I won! My painting was mine! Whoo hoo! I went to pay and soon someone came in and said they were starting the raffle. Well, I couldn't be that lucky, so I paid, I was next in line anyway, and then returned to the raffle room. A few pieces later I heard 616955. That's me! I won!!!!! I won a gorgeous painting by my favorites at this zoo-the Arctic Wolves!! How wonderful, I got 3 paintings one in each of the 3 events. I got the artwork of Admiral the North American River Otter, Anna the Cougar, and a joint effort by Nikko & Luna the Arctic Wolves! By the end of the evening I was in major back pain, but I was so pleased and happy-I still am. I had a wonderful time for a wonderful cause. Now I have to figure out where I'm going to hang my new paintings! Oh, the picture is of Anna. Each painting came with a picture of its artist. They say that Anna has really taken a liking to painting, although they admit it could just be the extra attention and the chance of rolling in paint!