I can’t imagine that it’s worth as much as say, a Picaso, but it has to be worth something.
The artist is an unknown, who simply goes by the name Kelly Ann.
Its whimsy splashes of color on the canvas have no rhyme or reason and it doesn’t bear a fancy name like “Springtime in Mauch Chunk.”
I was hosting a weekly talk radio program about pets at the time and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Baily Circus was in town. Along with giving away circus tickets, I had the opportunity to go onsite and interview one of the elephant trainers.
Off to the circus I went, microphone and recorder in hand to learn about what it takes to travel the country with these amazing – and huge – animals. I chatted with Troy Metzler, a longtime Ringling elephant trainer, who talked about how they’re transported, the massive amounts of food they consume, how they’re cared for day in and day out, and about Ringling’s Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida.
I got to get up close and personal with these gentle giants who convinced me that they’re smarter than some humans. Although apparently not smart enough to “hold it” until the interview was over, but that trait keeps a guy with a shovel employed.
I aired the interview and had a representative from the circus in the studio to talk about the other animals that make up the Greatest Show on Earth. Before leaving, she presented me with a painting done by one of the “stars” of the circus – a two year old Asian elephant.
Before each performance, Kelly Ann would display her skills by taking trunk to tempra to create original “elephant art.” A quick Google search shows that the pachyderm, who is now 12, still delights audiences with her artistic abilities.
From the bonds they form with humans and other elephants, to their gentle nature that is often displayed in venues like the circus, elephants are fascinating creatures. Some may argue that using animals for entertainment is wrong, but we all have our own opinions.
I don’t think I’m holding onto a piece of art that’s going to make me rich, but I’m holding onto something that has special meaning.
Even if it’s from an elephant.