Great Art Doing Good! Fresh Artists Organization and Kikkerland Design Take Art Off the Fridge and Put It To Work

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33 Kids in Training to Become Designers Collaborate with Kikkerland Design

Kikkerland Design has been invaded by 33 young artist/ philanthropists from eleven K through 12 public schools in Camden, NJ, Philadelphia and Norristown PA! Their newest educational design challenge was issued to kids to “create jigsaw puzzles designed with a little twist in hopes of making you smile.” The pandemic caused a run on more than just toilet paper - a world-wide shortage of jigsaw puzzles! Kikkerland, being the quirky visionary, looked to friends at Fresh Artists, an award-winning nonprofit inviting K-12 children to “take their art off the fridge and put it to work to change the world”. Their signature model is to install scaled-up reproductions of the donated children’s art in Fortune 500 corporations as thank-you’s for financial donations. The donations deliver art supplies and inventive art programs to low-income public schools with massive cuts in arts funding.

This time Fresh Artists kids’ art went to work in three special-themed Kikkerland puzzles, with all art presented in “real” gold leafed picture frames, like a cascade of fine art off the walls of a European museum! Wildly departing from the typical old-fashioned “pile of puppies” or snoozy “quaint teashop at dusk in an English hamlet”, these puzzles are bold, stunning, challenging and unusual, with art made and donated by talented and generous kindergarteners through senior high students.

Flower Power features exquisite portraits of powerful flowers, close-up á la Georgia O’Keeffe. Using macro photos provided by prize-winning garden photographers, children drew and painted “shoulders-up” interpretations of brilliant peonies, roses, hibiscus and satin-petaled waterlilies - 2,254 originals of which were exhibited at the world-famous Philadelphia Flower Show.

Zany Zoo cast another wide net by inviting every child in the Norristown PA School District to adopt and paint a portrait of their favorite animal in the tiny local Elmwood Park Zoo. The resulting 796 portraits were exhibited to honor of the 50th Birthday of Earth Day and ninety-nine artworks became part of the Fresh Artists Collection of Children’s Art. Ten portraits were chosen to create the Zany Zoo Fresh Artists 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

Honored Elders are Fresh Artists Chip Art Program portraits featuring esteemed older people, prominent in the lives of Fresh Artists children. Pastors, aunties, grandfathers, teachers, foster parents, and even the kind bodega proprietor down the street are venerated as community treasures. The medium is as interesting as the subjects – obsolete paint color sample chips! Fresh Artists and their Senior Art Educator, Robyn Miller have kept literally tons of this throw-away product out of landfills by creating lesson plans for making brilliant paper mosaics on recycled cardboard. Finally, a really green art medium not involving used Styrofoam meat trays!

The 33 young artist/philanthropists whose art is showcased on Kikkerland puzzles are proud to know these unusual and sophisticated games will be in gift and museum shops throughout the world, generating funds to save art education in severely underfunded schools throughout America. Pablo, grade 9 told us, “I’ve had so much help in my life. I need to give back. Through my art, Fresh Artists will keep giving and giving – maybe for 50 years. Maybe for 100 years. Maybe forever.
This makes me feel real good.”

Any art teacher in a qualifying low-income school may apply for grants of free art supplies at http://www.freshartists.org/for-educators/qualifying-schools/signup.

About Kikkerland
Since 1992 Kikkerland Design has established itself as one of the top companies in the world offering unique, well designed products to inspire our customers. Kikkerland supports and represents independent self-producing designers from around the world. In addition, Kikkerland is committed to giving back to local and global organizations, ranging from ecological restoration projects to creative writing and design programs for underserved youth.

About Fresh Artists
Founded in 2008, Fresh Artists is a national, award-winning nonprofit empowering young lives through art by engaging vulnerable children as full partners in philanthropy, by advocating for a quality education for all children by widely exhibiting children’s artwork in highly visible and unexpected places, and by providing art supplies and innovative art programs to severely under-resourced public schools. Fresh Artists invites K-12 artists in low-income schools to donate high-resolution images of selected artwork, and then provides corporate with thank-you gifts of high-quality scaled-up digital reproductions of that art in exchange for financial contributions. A curated collection of more than 2300 pieces of art donated by talented and generous public school children throughout the country has delivered the value of more than $2.5M in art supplies and 15 innovative, free art programs to public schools throughout America. Fresh Artists’ Print Studio provides the large-format prints for corporate donors as well as for under-resourced nonprofits and introduces disadvantaged teens to marketable 21st century job skills. Annual Design Labs and Cool Jobs Expo, the annual pop-up creative careers fair, introduces more than 600 young teens at-risk of dropping out of school to real jobs they might aspire to having in the creative economy. Huge reproductions of children’s artwork have been installed in corporate facilities throughout the country from Washington, DC, to Oregon including SAP Hudson Yards, Yahoo, Comcast, Harvard School of Education, Vanguard, Yale University Children’s Hospital, American Water Company and the world-famous Philadelphia Flower Show. Hundreds of children’s art reproductions have been installed in 41 homeless and emergency shelters, soup kitchens and child abuse clinics at no charge. Design Camp kids partnered with Crate&Kids to create the Fresh Artists kids’ Artistic Bedding Collection. Six titles of Fresh Artists Memory Games, educational, intergenerational matching games showcase children’s art, launched at Anthropologie stores, received the Oppenheim Gold Award for Best Toy of the Year, were chosen by Oprah for “O” Magazine and are available in museum shops throughout the country. For more information, visit http://www.freshartists.org.

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Laura Kellner
Kikkerland Design
+1 (212) 678-2250 Ext: 1100
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Barbara C. Allen
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