Back in August we held a very special art contest that created quite a stir in the press – it was a first-ever contest focused on chimpanzee art. And by chimpanzee art, we don’t mean paintings of chimpanzees, we mean paintings by
Now, after much anticipation, we are excited to announce that the original chimp masterpieces highlighted in our contest will be auctioned off on eBay, a great partner to The HSUS. The auction, which starts today (Monday, Nov. 4th) and runs through Thursday, Nov. 14th, will benefit the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) and offers the public yet another fun way to support the effort to provide the highest standards of care for chimpanzees in sanctuaries and advocate for chimpanzees who continue to be exploited.
Brent, a 37-year-old chimpanzee from Chimp Haven, won
1st place with his unorthodox painting technique of only
using his tongue. His painting will be auctioned off to
Our Chimpanzee Art Contest featured a painting submitted by each of the six participating NAPSA member sanctuaries on behalf of one of their resident chimpanzee artists. Creating artwork is one of the many enrichment activities enjoyed by some chimpanzees living in sanctuaries, and is used to engage and entertain these intelligent primates and to facilitate their recovery from the prior, traumatic periods of their lives. The contest was a rousing success, with 27,000 votes cast, media coverage from all over the world, and a barrage of requests from people interested in owning one of the paintings. We heard you loud and clear – and now is your chance to do just that, as the online auction goes live.
By participating, you are helping support sanctuaries that are dedicated to the rehabilitation and lifetime care of their chimpanzee residents, some of whom suffered for years in the barren cages of a laboratory or roadside zoo. The NAPSA sanctuaries, which include our own Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, have given hundreds of chimpanzees safe haven, finally free from the cruelties of the research, entertainment and pet industries.
The timing could not be better. Just last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved an amendment to an existing chimpanzee protection law in order to facilitate the transfer and support of government-owned chimpanzees in sanctuaries. It follows a decision by the National Institutes of Health to retire the majority of government-owned chimpanzees and move them to the national chimpanzee sanctuary system, currently overseen by Chimp Haven in Louisiana. The sanctuary system is supported by private citizens and also by government funds. The premise of the federal legislation is that it’s actually cheaper for the federal government to pay for care at sanctuaries than at laboratories. So it’s much better for chimps, and also better for taxpayers. It is our hope that the House passes this bill next week and sends it along to President Obama for his signature.
Because we know that many will bid but few will win, after the auction ends we will let you know how you can purchase prints of the artwork. That way, even those that aren’t lucky enough to win one of the six originals will still be able to own these wonderful paintings and support sanctuaries.
You can view all of the paintings available on the auction here. Happy bidding!