Special Exhibit Open May 27 (Memorial Day Weekend) to Sept. 4 (Labor Day)
No bird may claim a cultural influence as big and long as the flamingo, and no place in Connecticut is featuring the big pink icons this summer except The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
A small flock, or “flamboyance,” of flamingos will be standing – often, on one leg – in the aviary on our riverfront courtyard from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day.
The exhibit is free with Aquarium admission.
Ancient Egpytians are said to have used the flamingo to represent the reincarnation of their sun god. The birds have turned up in cave paintings in Spain and in ancient art of Peru. Alice used a flamingo as a croquet mallet when she went through the looking glass. And, of course, pink flamingos became a cultural icon of leisure and tropical travel in 1950s’ America … although today the image has evolved to represent hip high kitsch.
Displayed at The Maritime Aquarium will be six Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis), a larger species – 4 to 5 feet tall – native to southern South America. They’re distinguished from other flamingo species by their paler plumage, by the downward half of their bills being black, and by their greyish legs with notably pink “knees.” (Although, technically, what looks like their knees are really their “ankles.”)
Chilean flamingos are considered to be “Near Threatened,” with humans representing their main threat because of hunting, egg harvesting and by the loss of – and changes to – their natural habitats.
The birds are on loan for the summer from a zoo in Louisiana.
International Children's Art Exhibit
Open through Sept. 4 (Labor Day)
See how students from Connecticut – and from 18 countries around the world – used art to depict "teamwork" as The Maritime Aquarium again hosts Creative Connections' annual "International Children's Art Exhibit."
The display features more than 150 pieces made in Creative Connections' innovative Art Link program, which has students expressing a cultural theme through art and then exchanging their works with those by students from other countries. In many cases, the U.S. students used web cams to speak with their partnered kids in foreign lands, which resulted in smashed stereotypes and shared communities.
Themes of the art this year are "teamwork" and "rain forest." Some 5,000 pieces were collected and shared this year. The 152 pieces displayed in the Aquarium were selected by a panel of educators and artists "because of the keen cultural insight each communicates."
The featured U.S. school is Westhill High in Stamford.
Countries represented include India, Guatemala, Gambia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Japan, Jordan, Uganda, Cyprus, Ireland, Nigeria and more.
The exhibit is displayed in our IMAX Theater lobby. It can be viewed for free by entering via the IMAX Theater.
Based in Norwalk, Creative Connections is an international cultural education organization that facilitates innovative arts-based exchanges between students in the U.S. and their peers around the world.
Festival of Lighthouses Contest
There will be no 2017 "Festival of Lighthouse Contest." Thank you to all who have participated (and voted) during the past 15 years! Check out some of the past entries: