Unexpected Friends: Art exhibit for kids

Explore unexpected animal friendships with fun activities, cool art and lots of surprising facts during Unexpected Friends May 27 – Aug 20 in the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery! We’ve also included local animal info and resources from our friends at the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center. The annual art exhibit for children is made possible in part by The Library Foundation through contributions from the Sabatini Family Foundation.

Friends in the exhibit

In this exhibit you’ll roam through different animal habitats including a larger-than-life tarantula den, the Nile River, a capybara farm and sub-Saharan Africa. Play and create as you discover the unexpected friendships of the following animals:

  • Tarra & Bella – A stray Labrador befriended a former circus elephant at the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.
  • Owen & Mzee – A baby hippo rescued from flooding in Kenya found comfort in the friendship of a 100-year-old tortoise.
  • Cheesecake – A baby capybara raised around dogs in an animal sanctuary in Arkansas grew up to foster orphan puppies.
  • Bramble & Sophie – A dog at a bird of prey sanctuary in England became friends with a rescued baby eagle owl and licked the owl’s feathers daily to keep her clean.
  • Bea & Wilma – Both naturally curious animals, a giraffe and an ostrich born and raised in a theme park in Florida become friends.
  • Chimpanzee & genet cat – A wild chimpanzee became friends with an orphaned genet cat.

Visit with a Zoo Docent

Every Monday from June 5 – August 7 
Come visit with a Docent from the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center. Discover biofacts about animals, see actual animal artifacts, and learn what you can do in your daily life to protect our environment.

Creating art

Each week we’ll have art, craft and building stations where you can be creative. Some stations will stay the same and some will vary weekly. You’ll want to come back every week (or more) to see what’s new and have more fun.

Watch a video of Tembo, an African elephant at the Topeka Zoo, painting. Then see her artwork.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 5

Tembo the African Elephant

Unexpected Friends Photo Booth Gallery

As the library’s communications editor Ginger helps spread the word about all the amazing library resources, services and staff. She loves reading fiction and is working to keep her To Be Read list under 100. Ginger is also a volunteer at Helping Hands Humane Society.