Artwork by: Andy Dufford
Medium: Rubberized play surface, carved and polished stone
KCMO’s One Percent for the Arts Program
The Zoo’s entry plaza is designed as a transitional area where parents can rest and kids can play while waiting to enter the zoo or while the car is retrieved from the parking lot. The selection panel was impressed by Dufford’s use of carved stone and his interest in working with the zoo’s educational department to create hands-on artwork which provides opportunities for visitors of all ages to learn while they play. “I was inspired by talks regarding the zoo’s focus on education. I think it’s important to introduce a fantasy element, to get the children dreaming about what they see and also what might be. I’m inspired by sound and rhythm and thought it would be fun to introduce some rhymes to set the beat for the kids.” The artwork includes an original poem by the artist entitled, Strange Strange Sam. The poem is embedded in several numbered medallions which surround the artwork and playfully lead kids through an investigation about how this giant imaginary creature thrives on land, in the water and in the air.