Philadelphia Zoo Aviary

Continue reading

Brookfield Zoo Tropic World


Continue reading

Henry Vilas Zoo Visitor Center

Continue reading

Denver Zoo Bird World

Continue reading

Lake Superior Zoo Australian Exhibit

Continue reading

Como Zoo

Continue reading

Brookfield Zoo Aviary Free-Flight Room

Continue reading

Kansas City Zoo

Continue reading

Philadelphia Zoo Rare Animals

Continue reading

Philadelphia Zoo Primates

Continue reading

Milwaukee County Zoo Lion House

Continue reading

Milwaukee County Zoo Australian Building

Continue reading

Henry Vilas Zoo Small Mammals

Continue reading

Henry Vilas Zoo Train Tunnel

Continue reading

Henry Vilas Zoo Aviary

Continue reading

Henry Vilas Zoo Carousel Building

Continue reading

Erie Children’s Zoo

Continue reading

Erie Zoo Kiboka Tree House TV Studio

Continue reading

Denver Zoo Primate Panorama

Continue reading

Columbus Zoo Manatees

Continue reading

Brookfield Zoo Great Bear Wilderness

Continue reading

Animals

One of the gifts that comes with the zoo side of my job is making the acquaintance of all sorts of exotic animals. Much of what I’ve learned from being on more intimate terms with these animals has surprised me. A good example would be how I learned to speak to tigers. Continue reading

Primate Behavior

Brookfield Zoo’s Tropic World exhibit is housed in a huge building, sort of like a zeppelin hanger, built in 1982-84. It was then the largest indoor zoo exhibit in the world. Unfortunately the French architect failed to include skylights; hence, no plants would grow inside, and hence its nickname among the staff, “Tragic World.” Continue reading

Sam

I was introduced to Samantha in 1991 when the Erie Zoo hired me to do scenic murals in the assorted animal exhibits of the main building, which included Samantha’s day room. The faux-rock guys had preceded me and turned two walls into natural-looking rock formations with artificial plants. Continue reading

Hidden Features, or The Art of Camouflage

I was into camo long before it became fashionable. I’ve been a collector of all sorts of camo from all sorts of countries. Understanding the principles of camouflage (counter shading, breaking up the outline and mimicking the background), learned in the Marines, has been of surprising utility in my mural career. Often I’m presented with a wall that is less than ideal for creating an illusion. The perfect wall for a muralist is utterly simple: flat, white, curved corners, no obstructions, no angles, no electrical features. Most zoo buildings are existing structures that must be retrofitted to create a believable natural environment. Consequently, the muralist winds up with unwanted architectural features such as soffits, columns, pipes, walk doors, jogs in the wall, windows and skylights. My job is to make them go away. Continue reading

Boomer

The Milwaukee County Zoo was my first, and remains one of my most loyal, zoo clients. In 1992, they asked me to paint murals in their Australia building. The hallway called for a “sunset over the Outback” mural about 9 feet tall by 124 feet long. Windows looking into the animal exhibits were located in the opposite wall. Beyond that stretched 124 feet of exhibit wall on which they wanted a mural that transitioned from arid Outback at one end to deep rainforest at the other. Continue reading

Language Barrier

In 1993 I was doing murals in the main building of the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, Minnesota. The building featured a cafĂ© with a deck overlooking the small valley in which the Zoo was nestled. They wanted a mural on either side of the two serving windows in a back wall, and they wanted a mural of a wildlife preserve in India. …

Continue reading

Tale of the Tree House

In 2012 I spent a week working at the zoo in Erie, Pennsylvania, over the cusp of October into November. In size Erie has a relatively small zoo, but in quality, energy and ambition, Erie ranks with the best and biggest. For the first time, I was designing and supervising the building of a TV studio set. Continue reading

Audubon Insectarium

Continue reading

Philadelphia Zoo Reptile House

Continue reading

Milwaukee County Zoo Aviary

Continue reading