Plein Air Event - Art Gone Wild

September 14, 2019

Celebrate the beauty of Kansas in the fall at Rolling Hills Zoo’s plein air event, Art Gone Wild. 

Immerse yourself in the artistic experience, all part of this year’s Art Gone Wild Plein Air Event.  Regional plein air artists, along with the Zoo’s own animal artists, will be in the zoo showcasing their artistic talent.

Plein air is a unique art form as artists create their works of art in the “open air” and take their inspiration from the beauty of nature.  From an artist’s perspective, nature’s beauty is reflected in art, from the literal - through breathtaking landscapes, brilliant sunrises, cascading waterfalls, flowering foliage and amazing wildlife; to the abstract - inspiration provided by the textures, colors and sounds of the natural world.     

Rolling Hills Zoo’s animal artists create art as a form of animal enrichment.  Enrichment enhances the animal’s quality of care and improves their physical and psychological health.  Many of the Zoo’s animals paint on canvas boards, ostrich eggs and cloth using various methods.  The Zoo’s animal artists include the African painted dogs, Zuri the giraffe, Millie the chimpanzee, the reptiles, Gobi the snow leopard, the ostriches, Japura the Andean bear and Darius the Amur leopard. The animal’s art will be available for purchase at the Zoo. 

This event will feature:

  • Over 30 regional plein air artists in the zoo
  • Children’s art stations
  • Rolling Hills Zoo’s animal artists creating their signature art
Proceeds from this special event go to support Rolling Hills Zoo’s education programs, conservation efforts, exhibit enhancement and more! Now’s that something worth celebrating!


Rolling Hills Zoo and the Salina Art Center have created a fun and unique partnership that adds a new layer to Art Gone Wild. On Friday morning of September 13th, the Salina Art Center will be hosting a plein air workshop featuring teaching artist, Peggy Wilson, who will share tips and techniques and instruct on the creation of plein air art & painting nature’s beauty.

In this workshop students will practice several sketching methods using a variety of materials. Instructor Peggy Wilson uses a basic foundation plan to help organize your thoughts and actions before you start your plein air painting. Peggy will share tips she has gathered from some of the best instructors and plein air painters she has met and had the opportunity to paint with.

The first half of the day will be spent at Salina Art Center and the second half at Rolling Hills Zoo.

After a break for lunch on your own, the group will travel to the Zoo to practice what they have learned in the morning session.

Please contact Misty at the Salina Art Center for more details about this workshop by calling (785) 827-1431 or go to or to go

Friday evening we will be hosting the popular Members Only picnic on from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Zoo. This provides you not only a fun evening but also the opportunity to view the Zoo in the evening hours and scope out your spot for Saturday’s event. RSVP for the picnic via the online registration form below.

One of the Zoo’s generous corporate sponsors, Candlewood Suites, is again offering a special rate for artists staying overnight. Call (785) 823-6939 and ask about the Art Gone Wild rate.


Do you know an artist who may be interested in participating in the Plein Air Event and/or the Art Gone Wild Gallery Show, which runs November 9, 2019 - March 1, 2020?

Due to space restraints for the 2019/2020 show, we are asking participants to submit up to three pieces of nature-themed art for consideration for this year’s show.

  • Registration for the Plein Air Event is due September 6, 2019.
  • Registration for the Gallery Show is due September 14, 2019.
  • All entries for the Gallery Show will be juried. No commission fees will be charged on art sold.

The artist’s entry fee for either or both the Plein Air Event or Gallery Show is $20.

Register for Art Gone Wild Plein Air Event and/or Gallery Show.