A Real Heavy Art Perspective... Elephant Artists Show Their MAGIC
(Norfolk, VA) - On Saturday, July 14th, 2001 at 2pm at the Virginia Zoo's Meet Your Zoo Day, Lisa & Monica, the Zoo's African elephants, demonstrated their artistic creativity as they listen to an original song called "WINDOWS TO THE WORLD" and paint their inspirations. Zookeeper Kimberly Rutkowski provided a canvas and edible paints to the girls in the mammal house yard. Painting is used as a means of preventing boredom and keeps the elephants stimulated; the girls seem to enjoy it.

"WINDOWS TO THE WORLD" was composed for the zoo's African Okavango exhibit. Scheduled to open in spring, 2002, "Africa...The Okavango Delta," is providing visitors with ten acres of unobstructed views of 12 to 14 new habitats with 15 new species and more than 60 individual animals. Okavango, "Africa's Last Eden," will be home to giraffes, zebras, elephants, lions, white rhinoceros, meerkat, bongo and others. This $15.8 million project will reinvent the Virginia Zoo while paving the way for future revitalization.

"WINDOWS TO THE WORLD" is part of MAGIC-a five-year-old performing arts program that combines music, art, technology and education to make learning fun and is used in public and private schools in the 17 cities in Hampton Roads. The elephants will SHOW THEIR MAGIC by painting their inspirations, just as ten of thousands of students have done throughout Hampton Roads, who have listened to the MAGIC music, created art.while showing off their creations on the Internet.

As the lyrics to the song states:

There's a place right down the street
Where all your friends and the antelope meet
Okavango - African pearl (pron. Oh-ka-vong'-go)
The Zoo is a window to the world

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