Henry Vilas Zoo Anacondas & Classroom

Anaconda-wanting-to-help-Paul-paint-at-Henry-Vilas-ZooOne of my most consistent and enjoyable clients is the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin. The director, now retired, was a Viet vet like myself, and a former Green Beret, so we hit it off instantly, trading War stories. My most recent job for Henry Vilas was in 2012, some rainforest walls in the Education building which included an Anaconda exhibit. The two huge snakes, on the other side of a plexiglass sliding door, made no secret of their desire to help me paint. At least I think that’s what they wanted.

Anaconda exhibit murals by Paul Barker at Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison Wisconsin

Nearby was a classroom in which I painted an African savanna, one of many scenes in which I did my best to hide a door. To see jobs where I was able to disguise a door almost entirely, see my Mostly True Tale, Hidden Features, or the Art of Camouflage.

Henry Vilas Zoo classroom mural in Education Center by Paul Barker

For both of these jobs I was working in a small space where it was difficult to stand far enough back from my work to get good photos.