Boise Zoo Public Ar Proposal 2012 Marcus Pierce

Animals have taken over our homes! What are they doing here? Why are they up on our furniture, with their grubby little paws? Why are they eating our food and generally monkeying around in OUR environments?! The NERVE!

I am pleased to be creating designs for Zoo Boise. I am inspired by the zoo’s significant efforts and contributions toward the preservation of the world’s endangered wildlife species. One of the biggest threats to endangered wildlife species is the depletion of their natural habitats by humans. With this series of murals, the tables have turned. Rather than humans taking over the natural environments of animals, animals have taken over our habitats.

The murals juxtapose wild animals in an atypical context to allow the viewer to ponder what it would be like to have wild animals take over our environment. This strange juxtaposition allows the viewer to consider wildlife in a fresh new way. There are four panel murals that each represent a different room of a home. The movement of the viewer from painting to painting is analogous to moving from room to room. The works create empathy for the animals by placing them into environments that are intimately relatable to the viewer. The work is intended to be simultaneously humorous as well as serious.

People from all walks of life, young and old attend the zoo. In designing the murals for the zoo I have decided to work with common imagery that people of diversity can relate to. We are all familiar with images of animals, and we are all familiar with images of interiors of homes, but it is through this unexpected pairing that curiosity is sparked. Children looking at paintings will giggle at the sight of a tiger on a couch, while adults may speculate about the narrative behind the work. Why are these animals here? What are they doing? How do they relate to our world? How do we relate to theirs? And, how do we relate to them?

The work is intended to allow freedom for the viewers to participate and interact with the paintings, and to come up with their own conclusions about the various scenes presented. This prompting of involvement, in a spirit of playfulness, will help strengthen the cause of creating awareness of habitat and environment.


If you are interested in commissioning this public art in your local zoo contact Marcus Pierce.

To see more public arts in Boise click here.