Out of the Wild Art Exhibit

Caledonia’s animal sanctuary hosts unusual fundraiser

     A striped tail trickles paint across a blank canvas, swishing complementary colors into an intricate design, while nearby, a mane rakes through a puddle of paint, passively sketching a portal into the unknown world of animal art enrichment.  

     Painting with paws has been a prominent but unique activity for the lions and tigers at Caledonia’s Cedarhill Animal Sanctuary for many years. Cedarhill was founded by the late Kay McElroy in 1990, and has now provided care for amazing animals that have been abused or neglected, for over thirty years.

     Renowned artist Sharon Dickerson of Como, recently approached the team at Cedarhill seeking to contribute to the sanctuary’s art enrichment program. Dickerson agreed to provide the painting materials for an entire year, including canvases and non-toxic, water-based paints, and to develop and curate all of the artwork for a local exhibition. The show would serve as a fundraiser for the sanctuary as well as an educational experience for the community.

     To prepare for the exhibition, Dickerson visited the sanctuary on a semi-weekly basis to curate artwork. With the help of general manager and head caretaker Dawn Brock, large canvases were secured with painter’s tape to the floor of each enclosure. Paint was poured out in various patterns. Finally, the canvases were sprayed with essential oils to stimulate the cats’ brains and keep their sense of smell sharp. According to Dickerson, the tigers especially enjoy Calvin Klein’s Obsession perfume! “They make the most wonderful pictures,” says Dickerson.

     After a year of preparation, Cedarhill’s Out of the Wild exhibit featuring eighty-eight framed paintings from the sanctuary’s tigers and lions will be on display at the Rosenzweig Arts Center, in partnership with the Columbus Arts Council. The exhibit will open with a reception at 5:30 p.m. on December 1.

     Open to the public and free for all ages, the event will also include a multimedia educational experience that is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For more information, visit cedarhillanimalsanctuary.org.

144 Sanctuary Loop, Caledonia
Facebook: Cedarhill Animal Sanctuary


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