In a discussion on another forum, I proposed that what separates humans from all the other animates on earth are his sentience, his volition, and his emotions. A fellow hubber credited dolphins with the same trait, so I came to thinking, what else could possibly separate humans from beasts. Since man is arguably the most vain in all of creation, what is more vain that the act of creating something. Man's sole ownership of this trait called creativity, and all that it implies, could not only assuage man's construction (civilization) , but also accrues his destruction (E=mc2)
I see animals who are pretty creative too. Bower birds for example make specific works not basied on a uniform biological program, they seem to have an aesthetic sense for color and perspective (use of forced perspective).
Not being a Bower bird, I don't know. But I see no reason to assume they are not aware. It is more logical to assume they are aware than that they are not because sentience causing creativity is a simpler explanation than non-sentience simulating creativity. We certainly cannot assume they are not conscious as they have both the same basic brain structure and the same basic behavioral expressions of visual art that humans do. Saying 'yes but we are still different even though there is no objective evidence of it' isn't very convincing to me.