BALTIMORE (WJZ)—It’s a matter of art imitating animal life. A local artist is using his talents to showcase animals at the Maryland Zoo and generate donations in the process.
Tim Williams has more on how Mark Cottman has captured wild things in South Baltimore.
Through the doors of his South Baltimore gallery, Baltimore native Mark Cottman has created a tour of the Maryland Zoo—one artful animal at a time.
“Merganser…that’s at the zoo. Plain zebra…they’re at the zoo. Then we have some more pieces around like, of course, the African elephants at the zoo,” Cottman said.
The Wild Things exhibit is a show of more than 25 paintings. Some are of animals rarely seen.
“This is the Panamanian Golden Frog which is pretty much extinct in the wild,” Cottman said.
But originals and prints are plentiful and for sale–all to bring colorful awareness to our multi-legged friends Cottman has loved since his childhood.
“I tried to tap into that innocent and wonderment about animals and capture that in the paintings, and also bring attention to some of the endangered species, animals and to the zoo,” he said.
In recent times, the zoo has struggled financially, but things are looking up.
Last year’s 370,000 people set an attendance record.
Zoo executives say fundraising efforts like Cottman’s will always help.
“When a visitor walks into the zoo’s main gate they are given a map, and on the back of that map there is promotion for the gallery…for Wild Things the exhibition,” said Nancy Hinds, Executive V.P. of the Maryland Zoo. “People are encouraged to visit the gallery in Federal Hill and if you go in and purchase art, from the Wild Things exhibit, they will give the zoo a portion of the proceeds.”
Turning Cottman’s canvas into green for the zoo.