We started thinking about our Wet Paint Campaign this past winter when it became quite apparent that the Chimphouse was in need of an interior paint job. Contractors were called in to give price estimates and it turned out the project was going to be a huge financial undertaking. Before any painting could start, the walls would first have to be sandblasted to prepare them for the very expensive epoxy paint–the hours of work involved with this alone were cost prohibitive. It was going to take a serious bite out of Fauna’s operating budget.
After getting the bad news from the contractors, Gloria started looking at other possibilities. Maybe touch-ups could be done instead of complete coverage? Then, she had an idea–GRAFFITI! She contacted a local company, Dose Cuture, and invited them to visit the Chimphouse to consider doing some big murals throughout their indoor living space. They were very excited by the project and came back with a quote that was significantly less than what the original painting work was going to cost. Better yet–not only would the walls be getting a fresh coat of paint, but the chimpanzees home would be brighter and much more colourful! It was time to launch our Wet Paint Campaign!
Artist Korb of Dose Culture started his work over a week ago. He arrived at Fauna with sketches and a plan for covering the enormous room that houses the shaky tree. As the jungle motif unfolded, everyone was excited to see birds, vines, and of course, chimps, starting to come to life on the walls!
As the work progressed, it was clear that the rooms would feel smaller and cozy. And the light–wow! Korb’s use of colour captured and augmented the natural light, really brightening things up. It looked fantastic.
By the end of the week, the first room was complete! To make sure the chimpanzees did not have to smell the paint or listen to the large ventilation units that were installed, the islands and skywalks were prepared so the chimps could camp outside all week. The caregivers delivered lots of nest-making blankets to the treehouses and placed boxes of fruits and veggies around the boardwalks to keep everyone happy.
On Friday everyone returned inside to see their new home! The chimpanzees live in what is called a fission-fusion society. This mimics a typical wild society where the size and composition of the social groups change as time passes and animals move through their day and their environment. Not everyone stays together in the same space at the same time. It was Jethro, Regis and Petra who were first to move into the big room and Spock and Maya were in the smaller, colourful apartment that adjoins. Binky was next door where he could see the entire “vine” wall perfectly and the others could see sections of vibrant colour from their areas. This is the beauty of the Chimphouse–you can see so much from every room. They were in a trance in their wonderful space.
On August 7th Fauna lost a very dear friend. Norman Taylor was not only a long- time supporter of Fauna, but he was a dedicated member of our Board. Taylor had a deep fondness for the chimpanzees and their happiness was paramount to him. He was also a gifted playwright and earned his MFA from Yale University. He would have loved this creative project!
Fauna is dedicating these murals to Taylor, to thank him for everything he has done for the chimpanzees. He cared so deeply about them. About all of us. We have received donations from his friends and loved ones, made in his honour, and we are using these to help fund this project.
While the graffiti will cost less than painting, we are still looking at an expenditure of just over $12,000 to complete the work. Please consider donating to our campaign to help cover the costs of these necessary renovations.
We currently have a donor who is willing to match your donation to help get this project done, so every dollar you contribute will now be doubled! And don’t forget–for any donation of $150.00 or more, Korb will tag your name somewhere in the Chimphouse jungles, making you a permanent part of the chimpanzee’s colourful surroundings.
As always, thanks to all of you who care so deeply about the chimpanzees, monkeys and other Fauna residents. Your support means so much to us.