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Paint the Animals at Franklin Park Zoo Today

Artists from New England Watercolor Society on hand to assist

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Man painting on art canvas in the outdoors

Guests can pick up some tips about watercolor painting from New England Watercolor Society members today at Franklin Park Zoo, then try their hand at painting some of the animals. Photo courtesy of the New England Watercolor Society

Budding artists take note: today you can paint lions, tigers, capybaras, zebras, and more en plein air at Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo. You can also learn about watercolor techniques from members of the New England Watercolor Society who will be on hand painting various aspects of zoo life and offering tips, then head to watercolor tables to create your own masterpieces. The event, hosted by the zoo and the society, is free with zoo admission, and everyone, regardless of age or skill level, is welcome to participate.

A dozen or so artists will be around the zoo painting some of the hundreds of animals and their habitats. The society, one of the oldest for watercolorists in America, has counted such revered artists as John Singer Sargent, George Hallowell, and Childe Hassam among its ranks. Today, nearly 200 artists dedicated to refining their craft and sharing their work and expertise with the public are members.

The society will provide materials—paper, paint, and brushes—for visitors to use at one of two watercolor painting tables, the first near the main entrance, the other near the Serengeti Crossing exhibition space. Participants are welcome to ask the artists for advice. Artists using other mediums can bring their own materials to create zoo-inspired art.

The event is part of the society’s Watercolor Wednesday program, where members travel monthly to various New England scenic locales to paint outdoors. The 72-acre zoo is inside Franklin Park, considered the crown jewel of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace park system. The zoo is hosting many other special events this summer, such as an enrichment program, where visitors can listen to zookeepers talk about the mental and physical enrichment the animals receive, and Brew at the Zoo, where visitors 21+ can sample local brews while visiting the animals.

Watercolor Wednesday is today, Wednesday, July 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Rd. The event is free with the purchase of a ticket to the zoo. Find zoo admission prices here, hours here, a zoo map here, and directions here.

Liz Vanderau can be reached at vanderau@bu.edu.

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