Green Dream at The Distillery Gallery for Earth Day by Susan Newman
Opening April 5th at The Distillery Gallery and Artspace and hosted by Frogs Are Green is Green Dream: International Children’s Earth Day Exhibition.
Green Dream is the 1st exhibition of artwork received from international children for the annual Frogs Are Green art contest, 2009 through 2013. Selected artworks will be hung on the walls of the gallery space and 100s more will be shown via digital projection. Mediums include paintings, drawings, sculpture, and collage.
Environmentalism Meets Self-Expression Through Art
Frogs Are Green is an awareness environmental organization that has mostly been an online presence, so it’s wonderful to see shop owners embrace the cause and smile when they see the poster. They read what it’s about, and say, “Wow, how cool… Earth Day… Save The Frogs Day… Yeah!”
Frogs Are Green gives children the opportunity to learn about the environment, frogs and amphibians and express themselves. It’s through art that even 3 year olds can share what they think.
Now we’re bringing that awareness to the local community of what’s happening on our planet and that frogs everywhere are disappearing.
What Children Around the World Can Teach Us
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.
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 just learning 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, does have art classes for children (as do a few other places here) on Saturday mornings, and is partnering with Frogs Are Green to bring our “Green Dream” to life and show why children need this education in their lives.