Peggy Farrell, associate professor of art, is among local artists whose design submissions have been chosen for the Zoological Society of Milwaukee’s summer project, Beasties™ Safari, presented by Blue Moon. The Beasties Safari project will be displaying sponsored Beasties painted by approved artists in both Milwaukee and Waukesha over the summer. The Beasties will then be auctioned off online to raise funds for the renovation of the Milwaukee County Zoo’s Adventure Africa exhibit.
Each artist has painted their approved design onto a blank Beastie™, a simple, whimsical creature created by the Wisconsin-native artist Dennis Pearson. Pearson produced two editions of Beasties specifically for this public art project, a larger ‘Standing Beastie’ and a functional ‘Beastie Bench.’ Artists were asked to keep with the theme of Beasties Safari, painting the Beastie to either resemble a zoo animal or suggest the African landscape and culture. Each Beastie has also been selected by a sponsor who may buy it before it is auctioned off at the end of the summer, with those funds also supporting the Adventure Africa exhibit.
The Beastie™ painted by Farrell, and sponsored by the engineering firm GRAEF, is covered in blocks of bright color and simple straight lines. Peggy describes her concept as being inspired by “African colors and designs,” clearly seen in its playful patterns.
You can find the Beastie™ painted by Farrell and sponsored by GRAEF exhibited outside the firm on 125 S. 84th Street in Milwaukee. All Beasties were revealed at the Milwaukee County Zoo on May 24 and will be on display in Milwaukee and Waukesha County through August 1. For more information on the project, visit zoosociety.org/Beasties.