Take Kids to See Disappearing Frogs Project at Triangle Museums
Environmental art effort focuses attention on amphibians worldwide
Frogs are hopping to center stage in unexpected places around the Triangle, compliments of the Disappearing Frogs Project, a grassroots environmental art effort focusing attention on environmental threats to amphibians worldwide. Look for frog artwork and events at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, Kidzu Children’s Museum in Chapel Hill and the Museum of Life and Science in Durham.
Scientists estimate that a third or more of all the roughly 6,300 known species of amphibians are at risk of extinction, according to the National Academy of Sciences. Frogs, toads and salamanders are vanishing due to habitat loss, water and air pollution, climate change, ultraviolet light exposure, introduced exotic species and disease, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.
Photo of Pine Barrens Tree Frog Courtesy of Brady Beck Photography
The Disappearing Frogs Project uses art to spur people of all ages to be better stewards of the environment. Local schools and museums have hopped on board this project, and it’s easy to see why. North Carolina can make a difference. Our state has one of the most diverse amphibian populations in the world with more than 90 species of amphibians and more than 60 species of salamanders. North Carolina is also home to the smallest frog in North America, the Little Glass Tree Frog; and the largest frog in North America, the American Bullfrog.
Here’s a look at some of the upcoming events:
Marbles Kids Museum is featuring an exhibition of amphibian-inspired art through April 28. The works are from students in grades 2-5 who attend 11 Wake County science/technology/engineering/math (STEM) elementary schools.
Ann Thaden an art teacher at J.W. York Elementary School in Raleigh says collaborating with the Disappearing Frogs Project has made my second grade students more aware of the importance of biodiversity. “No matter the size of the creature, they have the power to change their ecosystem profoundly,” she says. “Students celebrated the beautiful colors of frogs that they studied with their paintbrushes. They are delighted to spread the word of the Disappearing Frogs Project with their exhibition at Marbles Museum this spring.”
At the Visual Art Exchange in downtown Raleigh, artist Joyce Dallal’s installation, the Other Toy Story, spotlights the impact of plastic toys on the environment and, ultimately, the health and survival of all species, big and small. A 10-foot-tall trash-can shaped like a baby doll is the receptacle for hundreds of pounds of used and broken toys, encouraging the viewer to reflect on what happens to large plastic toys when children outgrow them. The project grew out of the artist's own experience as a parent, being overwhelmed with all of the toys that could not be recycled. She now takes her exhibit to places across the nation, and came to Raleigh at the invitation of the Disappearing Frogs Project. On April 1, toys and other large plastics were collected by area schools and fed to the baby instead of the landfill. The installation will be on display through April 28. The exhibit sponsors include Waste Industries, Visual Art Exchange, Wake County government, Wake STEM Early College High School, Wake County Public School System and Amphibian Survival Alliance.
Photo of "THE Other Toy Story" at Visual Art Exchange courtesy of Pam Hopkins
Kidzu Children’s Museum will feature frog-themed, paid programs April 5-24. See Paperhand Puppet Intervention's “City of Frogs” set come back to life with stories and original puppets Friday, April 22, 4-5 p.m. Head to Hip Hop Frog Fest Saturday, April 23, 10:30 am.-1:30 p.m., featuring entertainment for kids. Find details about these and other events at Kidzu on its website.
The Disappearing Frogs Project art exhibit at the Museum of Life and Science features nearly 200 original works from more than 100 artists, each capturing their personal perspective of the impact and effects of globalization. Proceeds from sales support Amphibian Survival Alliance, with a mission in amphibian conservation, education and research. The exhibit is open through May 1 in the museum’s second floor Terrace Gallery.