Chimpanzee Art Contest: La. Primate Brent Wins $10K Grand Prize After Jane Goodall, Online Voters Choose Favorite Chimp Paintings
Move over Pollock and de Kooning, there's a new, furrier abstract expressionist in town. His name is Brent, and he's a 37-year-old primate from Louisiana. He recently won a national chimpanzee art contest for his work with a paintbrush.
Well, not really a paintbrush. Brent actually uses his tongue to create his chimp masterpieces.
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Brent is a retired laboratory chimp. He currently lives at the Chimp Haven in Louisiana, a sanctuary for animals that were once medical research subjects, pets, or were in the entertainment business.
Brent and chimps from five other U.S. primate sanctuaries recently competed in a chimpanzee art contest. The competition was hosted by the Human Society of the United States, the largest animal advocacy group in the world.
The contest drew the attention of over 27,000 online voters, as well as the famed primatologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall. The voters' favorite chimp artist, Brent, took home $10,000 for his artwork. Second place, and a $5,000 prize, went to Cheetah from the Save the Chimps sanctuary in Florida.
Ripley from Center for Great Apes in Florida walked away with the third place ribbon and $2,500.
Prizes awarded to the chimpanzee art contest winners will help fund primate conservation efforts at their respective U.S. sanctuaries.
"All of the art was beautiful and unique, just like chimpanzees!" Goodall said. "It was difficult to choose. It's so important that the public support all of these sanctuaries in their mission to provide exceptional care to chimpanzees, and other primates, who have suffered through so much."
When AP reached out to Brent for comment, a spokesperson for Chimp Haven told them: "I think he's asleep."
To see photos of the winners and their artwork, head to The Human Society website.
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