12/4/15

Environmentalism: It’s up to YOU to teach the young

It’s December and there are just 11 days left for children to enter the 2015 kids art contest, and all ages to enter the photo contest. As I watch artworks and photos trickle in, I’m wondering (as I did in 2013) why aren’t more people participating? (read >> The Young Environmental Artist)

I see a pattern here. The climate talks are on in Paris, but most are just talkers and not doers. It’s not enough to “like” and share pictures and articles on social media, and not actually do something to show you care.

My own Jersey City made me proud last year with close to 200 students from 17 schools submitting artworks. In addition, we received artworks from 17 states in the US and 32 countries around the world. The total last year was close to 1000 pieces of creative expression. It was marvelous! The winning artworks were celebrated online and in 3 well received exhibitions including an exhibition in Jersey City’s City Hall.

Jersey City is a culturally active area with a large artist community, and yet these same artists, many who have children, aren’t participating either. So, I’m back to wondering why it’s easier for me to reach parents and teachers in other countries and not those in my own area?

I’m asking you now… educators and parents to explain to the young why they should care about wildlife and the environment and I’ll continue to do my part to help amphibians and the environment too.

Please make me proud by entering today!

 

Susan Newman,
Founder, Frogs Are Green, Inc.
A NJ nonprofit organization – “Healthy frogs mean a healthy planet for all.”

Below is one of my favorite entries from 2014.

1st Place Winner, Kardelen Koc, Turkey, Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest 2014, age 3-6 group

1st Place Winner 2014, Kardelen Koc, Turkey, Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest 2014, age 3-6 group

05/8/15

Frog Art in Jersey City – City Hall Rotunda

The last few months have been very exciting. The international children’s frog art is taking over Jersey City! The next exhibition is up now inside Jersey City’s City Hall Rotunda. It will be up until May 30th and the opening reception is May 20, 2015 at 6-8 PM EST. (You can visit weekdays and weekends, just see the event page for the hours.)

I’m reaching out because I expect the city will send the video team (JC1TV) and they would love it if the students whose work is on the walls could be at the reception. So, if you are one of the students that entered and won, or you don’t live too far away, please join us on May 20th!

3rd Place Winner, Cynthia Cao, USA, Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest, Best Environmental Art

3rd Place Winner, Cynthia Cao, USA, Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest, Best Environmental Art

Here’s the link to see all the winning artworks:
http://frogsaregreen.org/winners-of-the-2014-frogs-are-green-kids-art-contest/

Here’s the event for May 20th on Facebook, so you can join and follow the details:
https://www.facebook.com/events/790874864334035/

Here’s a link to all the Frogs Are Green events planned for 2015.
http://frogsaregreen.org/about/events/

03/22/15

The Young Environmental Artist

The young artist’s family and friends step out the cab and walk into the gallery one by one, parents and children of different ages. They begin looking and move down the wall, admiring the variety of each artwork. The young artist turns and as she walks across the gallery I see a shy smile across her lips. Yes, she has spotted her own artwork and moves closer to see it. I ask her if I can take her photograph with her artwork and she agrees. Her family takes pictures also.

young environmental artist at 58 Gallery on Coles Street in Jersey City

We have a conversation about whether she had a lesson in school about frogs and the environment before she did her artwork (statement) on pollution. She tells me that she did some research but just created this based on her own imagination.

It’s a wonderful and sometimes strange feeling when one sees their artwork hanging on a gallery wall. For an artist, it’s what we all dream of. Visibility and the opportunity to share what we think.

As we’re talking, I see the parents and the other children moving around the gallery discussing the other works and taking photographs that will hopefully be shared with the extended family and perhaps on social media.

family admires environmental and frog art at 58 Gallery in Jersey City

The youngest of the children takes me around to show her favorite pictures and why. She’s about 4 years old and drawn to the cutest and friendliest of the pictures.

They all say how much they enjoyed the exhibition and will be sure to do more frog art next Fall.

Two young girls admire frog art

During the afternoon parents and children come by to see the student artworks but some people walk through the gallery on their way to a separate destination and do not even look at the walls, as if there is nothing there.

This baffles me and makes me wonder if there are some artists who think only their art is what’s important. Isn’t being an artist about appreciating self-expression, both your own and others?

Do seasoned artists think that because they are at a certain level of success, a young artist’s vision is of no consequence? Aren’t their artworks worth a look?

I believe that every person has the right to be seen and heard.

Having an appreciation of the arts (in its various forms, from dance and opera, to fine art and yes student frog artwork too) means stepping out of your own little world of self-expression and seeing what others have to say too.

Susan Newman, founder of Frogs Are Green hosted original Jersey City student frog art exhibit at 58 Gallery.

12/4/14

Building Reach, Near and Far

We know that if we build a web presence with the right SEO (search engine optimization) over time we will reach those who are searching for what we are offering.

But what if your target audience isn’t looking for what you’re doing? How can we reach them?

This is the 5th year of the Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest, so naturally those who have entered in the past are aware and may enter again. In addition, some parents and kids in countries around the world may be watching what other countries are doing and then get into the action as well. In the past 5 years we have received thousands of entries from more than 27 countries! When people are looking for something specific on the web and the right SEO is in place, those pages are found.

For example, Hong Kong has entered many beautiful artworks over the past few years, but this year in addition to the entries from China, we received entries from Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia. Last year we received some amazing art from Estonia, and this year from England, Ireland, Denmark, and Romania. Information can spread to new areas when we consistently push it out there and when the public is actively looking for it and then shares it, pushing it even further.

But the question today is how do we reach the ones nearby?

kids drawing frogs in park jersey city

The answer is by introducing people to real-time situations where they are learning new things. If we want children who live in urban areas to understand nature and why saving frogs is important, we need to bring them to the source, yes bring them to nature. How can we expect children who live in urban environments to care about wildlife when it is somewhat foreign to them? This is why many classrooms today have class pets. So children can be directly involved in the health and well-being of those animals. But there is nothing better than showing them the animals’ true habitat.

Last Spring, Frogs Are Green made a presentation to 60 first-graders at the Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City, showing them both frog art from around the world and a slideshow of some of the most unusual frogs. They learn about frogs and amphibians as part of their school curriculum and they already knew quite a bit and were very enthusiastic about the topic.

During 2014 we developed a new six-week curriculum, “Frogs, Amphibians and their Threatened Environment – Discovery and Expression through Art” which is available for download, under the education tab on our website.

During the summer and early fall, we had set up tables at quite a few community fairs and events so children could stop by, sit down and draw frogs with the art supplies we laid out. Children love to create and don’t need that much encouragement once engaged. They just need the right guidance from teachers and parents. We also know that children love animals. Many have pets at home, but it’s not the same as seeing those animals in nature.

If we want children to care about nature, we must show it to them, through field trips and when they see the real thing it will lead them to care what happens in the future.

What’s cool is that even in urban areas there are parks, such as our own Liberty State Park. Imagine the fantastic discovery students might have by seeing everything from frogs to birds, and more if they just went there with an educator.

We see a sharing cycle of teachers educating children, who bring that information home and tell their parents, who then share that with other parents, who share it with their kids and on to community leaders.

The key is getting those sparks of information and creativity started in the right places and making sure the people you want to reach are receiving it.

by Susan Newman, founder

07/3/12

Frogs Are Green 2012 Kids' Art Contest: Now Open for Submissions!

Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

We are very excited to announce that the 3rd annual Frogs are Green Kid’s Art Contest is now open for submissions!

Contest theme: IT’S EASY BEING GREEN!

Your artwork can be about frogs and how we can help them, or it can also be about ways we can be green at home, at school, or in the community.

We will award winners based on age in these age groups: 3-6, 7-9, 10-12. The winners will receive a Frogs Are Green poster of their choice from our store. All kids who enter the contest will receive a certificate of participation that can be downloaded from our site.

We’re looking for drawings, paintings, sculpture, collage, mixed media, or whatever format helps you express yourself.

Deadline for submissions is November 30, 2012, and the winners will be announced January 15, 2013. The winners will be featured in a post.

This year we have a new contest area using Flickr, where you can enter yourself. You must add a caption/ description with your Name, Age, and Country or your submission will not be added. Please see the contest page for more details.

Teachers: Please print out the attached flyer to post in your school.

We can’t wait to see your artwork!

01/5/12

Announcing the Winners of the Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest 2011

We’re excited to announce the winners of our second annual FROGS ARE GREEN art contest for kids. We received over 500 entries from young artists from more than 20 countries around the world. Each piece of art is special to us and we are so grateful to the kids, parents, and teachers who sent in their creations. We were thrilled to see so many original, fun, and thoughtful drawings and paintings of our favorite amphibian. It was extremely difficult to pick winners.

This year we also received many 3D artworks so we added a 3D art category. In addition, we added three more categories—the best “green theme” artwork, the best “poster idea or promotion” of Frogs Are Green, and the most “unusual” art.

The artwork will continue to be on exhibit in our gallery, and we encourage all participants to show off their amazing artwork to friends, family, and fellow students. We will be sending out the free wristbands to every child who entered the contest. If you haven’t sent us your address, please do so. You can also print out a downloadable certificate of participation.

Ages 3-6

Winner: Artwork by Jane Poon, 4.5 yrs old, “This is art” creative studio, Hong Kong.

Artwork by Jane Poon, 4.5 yrs old, "This is art" creative studio, Hong Kong.

Artwork by Jane Poon, 4.5 yrs old, "This is art" creative studio, Hong Kong.

Second place: Artwork by Jovan Miscevic, 6 years, Belgrade, Serbia.

Artwork by Jovan Miscevic, 6 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Artwork by Jovan Miscevic, 6 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Honorable mentions:

Artwork by Andrzej So, 3.8 yrs old, “This is art” creative studio, Hong Kong.

Artwork by Andrzej So, 3.8 yrs old, "This is art" creative studio, Hong Kong.

Artwork by Andrzej So, 3.8 yrs old, "This is art" creative studio, Hong Kong.

Artwork by Viruja Vidumitha Handunpathirana, 5 years, Kalutara, Sri Lanka.

Artwork by Viruja Vidumitha Handunpathirana, 5 yrs old, Kalutara, Sri Lanka

Artwork by Viruja Vidumitha Handunpathirana, 5 yrs old, Kalutara, Sri Lanka.

Ages 7-9

Winner: Artwork by Megan Mol, 7 years old, Somerset West, Cape, South Africa.

Artwork in a mixed media style, using oil pastels, paint and dyes, by Megan Mol, 7 yrs old, from the school, Beaumont Primary in Somerset West, Cape, South Africa.

Artwork in a mixed media style, using oil pastels, paint and dyes, by Megan Mol, 7 yrs old, from the school, Beaumont Primary in Somerset West, Cape, South Africa.

Second place: Artwork by Alyona Kuzmuk, 9 years old, West Sacramento, California, USA

"Wild Frog" artwork by Alyona Kuzmuk, 9 yrs old, West Sacramento, CA.

"Wild Frog" artwork by Alyona Kuzmuk, 9 yrs old, West Sacramento, CA.

Honorable mentions:

Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 years old, Belgrade, Serbia

Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Artwork by Daria Okhremtchuk, 7 years old, Davis, CA.

Artwork by Daria Okhremtchuk, 7 yrs old, Davis, CA.

Artwork by Daria Okhremtchuk, 7 yrs old, Davis, CA.

Ages 10-12

Winner:

Artwork by Ausrine Kepezinskaite, 12 yrs old, Lithuania.

Artwork by Ausrine Kepezinskaite, 12 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Artwork by Ausrine Kepezinskaite, 12 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Second place: Luksamon Wangchotikul, 11 yrs old, Bangkok, Thailand.

Artwork by Luksamon Wangchotikul, 11 yrs old, Pan-Asian International School, Bangkok, Thailand.

Artwork by Luksamon Wangchotikul, 11 yrs old, Pan-Asian International School, Bangkok, Thailand.

Honorable mentions:

Artwork by Farah Eltohamy, age 11, Chandler, Arizona, USA

Artwork by Farah Eltohamy, age 11, Chandler, Arizona, USA

Artwork by Farah Eltohamy, age 11, Chandler, Arizona, USA

Artwork by Mariya Grabovska, 10 yrs old, Roseville, California, USA

Watercolor artwork by Mariya Grabovska, 10 yrs old, Roseville, CA.

Watercolor artwork by Mariya Grabovska, 10 yrs old, Roseville, CA.

Artwork by Aiste Krilaviciute, 12 yrs old, Lithuania

Artwork by Aiste Krilaviciute, 12 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Artwork by Aiste Krilaviciute, 12 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Artwork by Ula Lekecinskaite, 12 yrs old, Lithuania

Artwork by Ula Lekecinskaite, 12 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Artwork by Ula Lekecinskaite, 12 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Best 3D Art

Winner: 3D Frog Sculpture by Ariana Brush, 8 years old, Lake Helen, Florida, USA

3D Frog Sculpture by Adriana Ledoux, age 8 from Ivy Hawn Charter School of the Arts, Lake Helen, FL.

3D Frog Sculpture by Ariana Brush, age 8 from Ivy Hawn Charter School of the Arts, Lake Helen, FL.

Honorable mentions:

Tile Sculpture by Children from SP2 (school) in Kwidzyn, Poland

3D Tile Sculpture by Children from SP2 (school) in Kwidzyn, Poland.

3D Tile Sculpture by Children from SP2 (school) in Kwidzyn, Poland.

Artwork by Emilija Ciuplyte, Karolina Budvytyte, Migle Ginaityte, Augustas Mozuras, Urte Kasperiunaite, Andreja Urbanaviciute, Dautartas Rimkus, Rytis Ziberkas, Beatrice Milkeviciute, 9 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Artwork by students, 9 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Artwork by students, 9 yrs old, Kaunas Art Gymnasium, Lithuania.

Best “Green Theme” Art

Winner: Artwork by Erik Zou, 11 yrs old, Lexington, MA.

Artwork by Erik Zou, 11 yrs old, Lexington, MA.

Artwork by Erik Zou, 11 yrs old, Lexington, MA.

Honorable mentions:

Artwork by Kristine Zhou, 10 yrs old, Ann Arbor, MI.

"It's Easy Being Green" artwork by Kristine Zhou, 10 yrs old, Ann Arbor, MI.

"It's Easy Being Green" artwork by Kristine Zhou, 10 yrs old, Ann Arbor, MI.

Artwork by Soojin Jang, 10 yrs old, Maryland

Artwork by Soojin Jang, 10 yrs old, Maryland

Artwork by Soojin Jang, 10 yrs old, Maryland

Elizabeth Xiong, 9 yrs old, Ann Arbor, MI.

"Keep Green! Save Us!" artwork by Elizabeth Xiong, 9 yrs old, Ann Arbor, MI.

"Keep Green! Save Us!" artwork by Elizabeth Xiong, 9 yrs old, Ann Arbor, MI.

Best “Frogs Are Green” Poster

Winner: Artwork by Smitha Mahesh, 12 years old, Perryhall, MD.

Artwork by Smitha Mahesh, 12 years old, Perryhall, MD.

Artwork by Smitha Mahesh, 12 years old, Perryhall, MD.

Honorable mention:

Artwork by Skyla Valade, age 12, Belle River, Ontario, Canada.

Artwork by Skyla Valade, age 12, Belle River, Ontario, Canada.

Artwork by Skyla Valade, age 12, Belle River, Ontario, Canada.

Most Unusual Artwork

Winner: Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.
Artwork by Valeriy Karabchukova, 7 yrs old, Belgrade, Serbia.

Thanks to all the participants!