The Shafer Art Gallery will host an opening reception for its exhibit “Frogs: Sounding the Future” featuring photographs from National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore from 6-8 p.m. Friday, May 20 in the Shafer Art Gallery. This exhibit is being presented in conjunction with the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. The exhibit runs from May 13 through June 17 and will include “The Frog Watch Adventure Installation” and frog-themed art from Carol Long and Robert Joy.
The reception will feature a talk about the amphibians of Cheyenne Bottoms by Nathaniel Nelson, Sedgwick County Zoo curator of ectotherms. He’s been a curator at the zoo since 2007 and has worked on conservation projects with Komodo dragons and the Puerto Rican crested toad.
Featured Photographer Sartore is the founder of the Photo Ark project. The project is dedicated to photographing as many animals as possible – before some disappear.
The National Geographic website notes, “Species are disappearing at an alarming rate. But together we can help. The interaction between animals and their environments is the engine that keeps the planet healthy for all of us. But for many species, time is running out. That’s why National Geographic, along with renowned photographer Joel Sartore, is dedicated to finding solutions to save them.”
Sartore has visited 40 countries in his quest to create this photo archive of global biodiversity. To date, he has completed intimate portraits of more than 6,000 species.
“I want people to care, to fall in love, and to take action,” he said.
The “Frog Watch Adventure” installation will feature an expedition tent. Inside the tent, visitors can use an interactive display to listen to frog sounds. The installation is funded by the Chickadee Checkoff Foundation.
Local artists featured
The exhibit will also include ceramic art from Carol Long of St. John. She has created a special set of eight frog-themed pieces just for this exhibit. There will also be frog focused drawings from Ellinwood artist Robert Joy.
Shafer Gallery Director Dave Barnes said the exhibit has many facets and is excited about the chance to collaborate.
“We are very excited about sharing such a history making moment with the Kansas Wetlands Education Center,” Barnes said. “The National Geographic Photo Ark project is the first time that a photographic index of all animals in captivity has been attempted. Joel Sartore’s epic photographs are a perfect keystone to all of our Frogs: Sounding the Future events and installations. What a treat to see his work side-by-side with Robert Joy’s whimsical meditations and a special exhibit of frog-themed ceramic works by Carol Long. I hope families will take advantage of this opportunity. I know we at the Gallery are croaking our way to work every day.”
Frog Story Time
Another event associated with the exhibit will be a frog-related story time session and art craft project from 11 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, May 25 in the Shafer Art Gallery. The workshop is for children ages 3-5 with accompanying adult. For more information or to sign up contact Shafer Gallery Assistant Scott Beahm at firstname.lastname@example.org or 620-792-9242. The event is free. Space is limited.