Conserve Wildlife Blog

Newark student wildlife artists honored at Jewish Museum of NJ

March 9th, 2019

By David Wheeler, Executive Director

A proud fifth-grader shows off her ‘Soaring with Steam’ artwork.

Some of Newark’s top wildlife artists were recently honored at the Jewish Museum of New Jersey – and those talented fifth grade artists brought along their families and friends to help them celebrate!

Newark’s Sussex Avenue Renew School partnered with Congregation Ahavas Sholom to hold their seventh annual art exhibition on Sunday, February 24, 2019, with the main gallery displaying the students’ original art collages representing endangered and threatened wildlife in New Jersey. These works of art were created by fifth-grade students as part of Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s “Soaring with STEAM” programming in Newark Public Schools.

Owls, bobcats and peregrine falcons were among the animals celebrated by fifth-graders from Newark’s Sussex Avenue Renew School.

The diverse styles in the collages featured a range of species – from peregrine falcons to sea turtles to bobcats – with some students utilizing a realistic approach, and others an impressionistic style that even incorporated natural items such as pine needles. Some of the students obscured the wildlife in a way that mirrored the declines of those same species in the wild, an approach observed by CWF education consultant Barbara Bickart, who supervised the lessons throughout the past two months of school.

Through the development of a visual art piece, students had an opportunity to contribute to an awareness and understanding of the importance of conservation and caring for the environment. The elements of art and the principles of design acted as a universal, visual language to communicate the students’ ideas to the broader community.

Left to right: CWF Executive Director David Wheeler, Newark Public Schools Arts Lead Margaret El, Sussex Avenue Renew School Art Teacher Nelson Alvarez, CWF Education Director Stephanie DAlessio, and artist and teacher Barbara M. Bickart.

Bickart joined Sussex Avenue Renew School principal Darleen Gearhart, Ahavas Sholom president Eric Freedman, CWF education director Stephanie DAlessio, Newark Councilwoman Mildred Crump, and community leader Marilyn Gaynor in speaking and recognizing the student artists before approximately 75 attendees at the Jewish Museum of New Jersey, housed at historic Congregation Ahavas Sholom.

Generous funding for Conserve Wildlife Foundation’s educational programming is provided by Victoria Foundation, The David & Carol Lackland Family Foundation, PSEG Foundation, Phillips 66, and The Zoological Society of New Jersey.

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