Alexandra Pierschalla sent this lovely little painting of a gray treefrog, proceeds from the sale of the painting go to FrogWatch USA. I asked Alexy to tell me more about FrogWatch, how she got involved, and how she came to paint frogs.
About FrogWatch USA
Did you know that you can help protect frogs by sharing information about what you hear at night?
FrogWatch USA is a citizen science program that teaches you to recognize different frog calls in your region. As a volunteer, you make observations at night during the frog mating season and enter them into a website. Scientists can use your data to analyze frog populations across the United States.
Frogs are threatened by climate change, loss of wetlands, and disease. They’re important because they help keep insects under control and they also serve as a food source for other animals.
By volunteering with FrogWatch USA, you get to spend time outside and discover more about the world around us. It’s a beautiful way to enjoy the night!
Alexy’s Journey with FrogWatch and Painting
I saw an opportunity at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center to volunteer for FrogWatch USA. I was interested in learning how to identify different species of frogs and helping to protect them by documenting my observations. It was a combination of my interests in nature, sound, and citizen science that drew me to the project.
I started volunteering in 2014 and have been a certified frogwatcher for seven years. I take a test each year as a refresher for the documentation protocol and the different species’ calls. I started making frog paintings based on the Virginia species in 2016. It was an exciting moment when I realized that I could combine my scientific interest with my art practice to help spread the word about FrogWatch USA.
I’m really drawn to the nature found in cities and suburbs. In addition to the frog paintings, I make felted sculpture Ghost Frogs. I also have an ongoing series of both representational and abstracted drawings about light pollution, as well as other urban/suburban wildlife and landscape paintings and drawings.
When I studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago, my graduate level projects were sound and video art. I have a few sound art pieces and frog call field recordings on my website and hope to do more experiential work in the near future.
As the Earth becomes more developed, it’s important to try to maintain as much biodiversity as possible because there can be complex relationships between wildlife and plants that are critical to the health of our environment. We can ruin a whole ecosystem by letting certain species go extinct. Even in our cities and suburbs, there are ways we can take action and ways to stay connected to the nature around us. I believe this is so important for human health and wellbeing as well.
See more art by Alexandra Pierschalla at alexypier.com
Where to See “Gray Treefrog”
“Gray Treefrog” is currently on display at the Angelica Kauffman Gallery, which is in the window at Calypso Moon Studio, 331B Harrison Street, in the Arts District of Oak Park, Illinois.