03/2/14

My Green Dream – Children’s Appreciation of the Arts

Each Fall Frogs Are Green hosts a Kids’ Art Contest. It gives me such a thrill when hundreds of children from around the world answer that call.

These children are enrolled in after school art programs. Their parents must realize how important it is to enrich their child’s education and encourage them to express themselves through art.

I grew up in Queens, New York, and my parents enrolled me in ballet and piano lessons, and my father, an accountant by day and an artist by night, would sit with me and teach me how to draw a house or a tree. He was so excited when I chose art as my career and began my higher education at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

My brother and sister and I were introduced to a thriving cultural world. We would get dressed up and head into New York for the circus, Ice Capades, ballet, museums, Broadway theater and opera. This gave me a rounded appreciation for the arts that I still feel.

Is this culture missing in children’s lives today?

I will tell you that the submissions to the 2013 contest yielded 450 entries, but only a few came from the USA. My only conclusion is that children in this country are not being taught arts appreciation the way I was decades ago. Is this due to the digital age of games and apps, or the economy and arts classes/programs being cut? When children spend their days watching TV and playing games that others have created, and they are not learning how to express themselves, this will hurt them later in life. I’m sure of it.

green-dream-4-artworks-ver2

When I see the artwork that comes in from kids between 3 and 12 from Estonia, Australia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, South Africa, Macedonia, Serbia, India, China and so many other countries it’s clear from their skills that they are not learning just about art but conveying their own personal messages about the state of the environment and how they feel about frogs. The USA is just not seeing how important this ability to self-express is, and so it must change for the next generation.

I’m happy to share that The Distillery Gallery & Artspace in Jersey City, New Jersey does have art classes for kids (as do a few other places here) on Saturday mornings, and it is partnering with Frogs Are Green to bring our “Green Dream” to life and show why children need this education in their lives.

Opening on April 4 and running through April 27, “Green Dream” will be an International Children’s Earth Day Exhibition. It will be the first time Frogs Are Green is showcasing the amazing artwork received over the years. Many of the works will be hung on the walls and a digital projector will show hundreds more. The children in The Distillery art classes will also be showing their frog pictures and are creating flower pots.

kids frog artwork ehibition in jersey city

I hope you will celebrate with us on Earth Day (4.22), Save the Frogs Day (4.26) and join us with your children for this extraordinary event. If you would like to learn more and support this effort to increase environmental awareness and heal the planet, visit the Indiegogo campaign here:

Green Dream – International Children’s Earth Day Exhibition – Indiegogo Campaign

 

 

Video by Brandon Somerton, Filmmaker

10/23/11

Contest Update: Frogs Are Green Kids Art Contest 2011

We’ve been so excited to receive entries for our kids’ art contest from children all over the United States, as well as entries from Canada, Scotland, Ireland, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Hong Kong.

You can view the entries by either selecting the “galleries” link in the top navigation or by holding the cursor over the gallery thumbnails in the right sidebar, where you will see the Kids’ Art Contest 2011 among others. Once you click on the first piece of art, just click the forward and back arrows and you can view each piece of art in a slide show.

We’re so impressed by the variety of the art: from crayon, colored pencil, watercolors, and paintings to 3D sculptures, collage, and mixed media.

Honorable mention from our 2010 contest, by Li Hing Fung, Hong Kong

Honorable mention from our 2010 contest, by Li Hing Fung, Hong Kong

If you haven’t entered your artwork and would still like to, please click on the contest rules at the top of the blog. The age groups are 3-6, 7-9, and 10-12 and there will be a winner in each group. The winners will be featured in a post.

Also, if you’ve entered the contest, please don’t forget to send your address so we can send you a Frogs Are Green wristband after the contest is over. These wristbands are really nice—they’re smaller than the usual wristbands (youth size) so are good for kids. Susan and I wear our wristbands 24/7!*

Anyway, we’re so happy to see so many creative kids out there creating and expressing themselves for our favorite animal!

*Note: Our use of your address is a one-time thing. It won’t be saved or used for any purpose other than for sending the wristbands.

10/26/10

FROGS ARE GREEN Kids' Art Contest and 2010 Photo Contest Reminder

Just a reminder that you still have time to

enter our Kids’ Art Contest and Photo Contest!

2010 Frogs Are Green Kids’ Art Contest

Design by Susan Newman | Illustration by Paul Zwolak

Contest theme: IT IS EASY BEING GREEN!

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

Deadline for submissions is November 30, 2010 and the winner will be announced December 15, 2010. The winner will be featured in a post and his or her artwork will be used to create a poster for the campaign. The winner will also receive 2 copies of this new poster. All other kids who enter will receive a FROGS ARE GREEN (eco-friendly) wristband.

We’re looking for drawings, paintings, sculpture, collage, or whatever format helps you express yourself. Send your digital files or photographs of the objects to us at info@frogsaregreen.com. The files should be no larger than 3MB each. We will accept the original drawings, but please ship with a tracking number for safety, the address is on our contact page.

Download this flyer to post for your kids at home or at school.

We can’t wait to see your artwork!

2010 Frogs Are Green Photo Contest

This year we will be accepting submissions in two categories: Frogs in the Wild and Backyard Frogs. Backyard Frog photos would include such photos as a frog perched on your picnic table or other unusual place. Last year, for example, we received a photo of a frog sitting on a pool hose. Frogs in the Wild photos, on the other hand, should feature frogs, toads, or other amphibians in their natural habitat: frog ponds, marshes, in the woods, and so on.

PLEASE—no photo manipulation and no photos of pet frogs. Please do not move the frog to get a better photo. Photos of amphibians of all kinds, including salamanders, will be accepted. E-mail all photos to us at Frogs Are Green. All photos should be in jpeg format and no larger than 3 MB. Please name your photo a short but distinctive name (with no spaces, such as, “susan-frog-NJ.jpg”) and include a caption detailing your name, email and the location of the photo. All entries must be received by November 30, 2010. Winners will be announced December 15, 2010.

PRIZES

Winner:

The winner will receive a Frogs Are Green t-shirt or poster of his/her choice or we can design a special t-shirt and/or poster with your winning photo. The photo will be featured in a separate post and the photo will also appear on the front page of the blog all year.

Honorable mentions:

Honorable mention photos will appear in a gallery on our blog and the photographers will receive our small Red-Eyed Tree Frog poster.

11/24/09

Many Thanks, and a Red-Eyed Tree Frog for You!

We have a lot to be grateful for at FROGS ARE GREEN. We’ve received over 10,000 visitors since we started the blog back in May. We are so grateful for your comments and for your participation in our blog.

As a token of our thanks, Susan designed a poster of our mascot, the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, that you can download and print out for FREE (in three different sizes). We hope you enjoy it and will put up a copy at your home, school, or office to spread the message about our amphibian friends.

Happy Holidays!

Don’t forget to check our galleries of our photo contest photos, wonderful frog art from kids, and photos of wild backyards! (Click on the pictures in the right column of the blog. Feel free to send us your pictures to be included, too!)

Click here and it will take you to the download page.

red-eye-frog-poster-blog-sm

09/21/09

Teachers: Calling All Frog Artists!

Susan and I are seeking kids’ frog art—lots of it! We hope to encourage kids and their teachers to learn about and get interested in frogs, toads, and other amphibians. If you’re an elementary school teacher, parent, or educator, please send us jpegs (2mb maximum size) of your students’ or kids’ drawings or paintings of frogs and we will display them in school group galleries on the FROGS ARE GREEN blog. We’d be happy to receive images of any art form—sculpture, drawing, painting, or watercolor.

If the art work is part of a school project, please send the jpegs in one bunch. Individual drawings not part of a class project are fine, too. Include the name of your school, state, country (if not the U.S.), grade level, and child’s name for each piece of art.

Please print out the attached flyer to post in your neighborhood schools.

Here are some ways in which learning about and drawing frogs could be incorporated into the school curriculum:

Art classes

Language arts. As we’ve posted before, there so many wonderful children’s books with frog characters. Click on Literary Frogs on the right to see a few. I plan to review more titles in the coming weeks.

Rainforest unit: Rainforest frogs are some of the most colorful and interesting animals in the rainforest.

Endangered animals: Almost one-third of all amphibians are threatened with extinction, yet most kids probably don’t know this. Pick an endangered frog or toad and learn about it.

Local flora and fauna: Learn about the frogs and other amphibians in your area, and also learn to recognize their calls.

Life cycle of animals: Many state science education standards require children to learn about the life cycle of animals. Frogs have one of the most interesting life cycles—from tadpole to froglet to frog.

Below I’ve posted two YouTube videos about how to draw a frog. One is simple line drawing, and the other is more detailed, for older kids.