Each year, the D&R Greenway Land Trust and the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey bring the “Species on the Edge,” with prize-winning art by fifth graders, to its Olivia Rainbow Gallery.
Fifth graders from across the state will have their words and images, calling attention to New Jersey’s endangered and threatened wildlife, on display from September 2 through October 14 at the D&R Greenway Land Trust’s Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place, (off Rosedale Road).
The artwork and accompanying essays resulted from fifth graders’ having studied over 80 endangered and threatened species of New Jersey wildlife, under the auspices of Conserve Wildlife Foundation of N.J. Local artists visit schools to coach the children in effective imaging. The resulting works are judged by artists and scientists. D&R Greenway is one of many venues to celebrate this blend of art and science annually. These works, the cream of the crop, were selected from over 2,000 entries.
The Mercer County winner is Sophia Phelan, a student at Princeton’s Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart. Sophia drew the peregrine falcon, New Jersey’s largest falcon and world’s fastest animal, capable of flying over 200 miles per hour. The 2014 winners in the Olivia Rainbow Gallery call attention to the urgency of preserving New Jersey’s wildlife and their habitats.
The Olivia Rainbow Gallery showcases student art throughout the year. It was founded and is funded in memory of young Olivia Kuenne, who cherished both art and nature. Its next exhibition, “Natural Treasures,” will be provided by frequent exhibiting artist Deb Land. One of Deb’s students at Stuart Country Day School is Sophia Phelan, the Mercer County winner. Her work has hung in the Olivia Rainbow Gallery during an earlier Stuart exhibit.
For the statewide Species on the Edge Art & Essay Contest, beginning each fall on October 1, children choose representative species of endangered New Jersey wildlife. In effect, during their research and painting/drawing, each becomes a temporary wildlife biologist. More information about the contest can be found at www.conservewild
lifenj.org. For more on D&R Greenway Land Trust, visit: www.drgreenway.org.
The exhibition is free and open to the public on business hours of business days.