The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Maryland Sculptor Creates Chimpanzee Figures for Zoo

The chimps, created by Maryland sculptor Bart Walter, will be placed around the boulders to create an outdoor exhibit space that reflects, to some degree, a chimp's natural habitat, said landscape architect Matt Stovall of Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon.

"We're taking what was a static space and adding life and motion, creating a sense of excitement," Mr. Stovall said. "The chimps will be greeting people as they enter the zoo."

Each figure represents a member of the chimpanzee social group, from the alpha male to the mothers and their young.

More monkeys are coming to the Chattanooga Zoo, but they won't jump around, swing or screech.

They'll just stand there.

The Troupe, an exhibit of six life-sized bronze chimpanzees and Chattanooga's first Art in Public Spaces sculpture, will be placed at the zoo entrance in Warner Park.

The unveiling, sponsored by the Hunter Museum of American Art and funded through a $1.8 million grant from the Benwood Foundation, is set for Sept. 25.

Work on the permanent exhibit began last week with the placement of 18 natural sandstone boulders from the Cumberland Plateau, each weighing several tons.

Mr. Walter said he spent six days in Uganda following chimpanzees through the Kibale Forest so his sculptures accurately would depict the movement of chimps in the wild.

"I'm excited to do this, not only because I admire Hunter Museum of American Art, but I like the fact that they will be installed in a different way -- up on large rocks from a quarry in Tennessee," he said.

The exhibit is the first in a series of four planned Art in Public Spaces displays to be erected in city parks this year. The next will be placed in Miller Plaza in late September, and two more will be installed at Renaissance Park by early winter, according to Hunter Museum spokeswoman Robin Derryberry.

"The locations for the sculptures were voted on by the public," she said. "I think the sculptures add to the quality and fabric of the community. Everyone is finding out that Chattanooga is a great place to do business, and they're also finding out this is a great place to live."

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