TAKING THE LEAP
There’s a cheerful green frog hanging on a wall at artCentral. This charming creature is poised to take a leap, perhaps a leap right onto a wall of your own!
Depicting a charming frog about to take a leap, “Froggy Goes a Courtin’”, is an intimate, fabulously colorful, mixed media creation by Katherine Simonds. Donated by the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition (JRAC), “Froggy” is offered as a door prize. With your modest $5.00 donation accompanied by a ticket with your name, you have the chance to take home this delightful leap frog while supporting the work of artCentral and JRAC.
How perfect to have a leaping frog to remind us that we have already made the leap into 2020, our brand new decade launched by a leap year.
Leap year! Why do a leap year and an extra day, February 29th, happen?
According to the online Mother Nature Network:
“Leap year is all about circling the sun! It takes the Earth about 365.242189 days—or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds—to circle once around the sun. However, the Gregorian calendar we rely on has only 365 days, so if we didn't add an extra day to our shortest month about every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After a century, our calendar would be off by about 24 days.
Julius Caesar introduced the first leap year around 46 B.C., but his Julian calendar had only one rule: any year evenly divisible by four would be a leap year. That created too many leap years, but the math wasn't tweaked until Pope Gregory XIII introduced his Gregorian calendar more than 1,500 years later.
Technically, leap year is not every four years. Caesar's concept wasn't bad, but his math was a little off; the extra day every four years was too much of a correction. As a result, there's a leap year every year that is divisible by four, but to qualify, century years (those that end in 00) must also be divisible by 400. So, the year 2000 was a leap year, but the years 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not.
According to an old tradition, a woman may propose to a man on leap day February 29th. The custom has been attributed to various historical figures including St. Bridget, who is said to have complained to St. Patrick that women had to wait too long for their suitor to pop the question. The obliging Patrick supposedly gave women one day to propose.
There are other traditions that put a price on a man’s saying "no." In Denmark, a man refusing a woman's February 29th proposal must give her a dozen pairs of gloves. In Finland, an uninterested gentleman must give his spurned suitor enough fabric to make a skirt.
One in five engaged couples in Greece avoid tying the knot in a leap year, because they believe leap years are bad luck.
People born on leap day are often called "leaplings" or "leapers". Most of them don't wait every four years to celebrate their birthdays, but instead blow out the candles on February 28th or March 1st. According to History.com, about 4.1 million people around the world have been born on February 29th, and the chances of having a leap birthday are one in 1,461.
According to Guinness World Records, the only verified example of a family producing three consecutive generations born on February 29th belongs to the Keoghs of Ireland. Peter Anthony Keogh was born in Ireland in 1940. His son, Peter Eric, was born in the U.K. on leap day in 1964, and his granddaughter Bethany Wealth was born on February 29th in the U.K. in 1996.”
Whether you are an authentic art-loving "leapling" or "leaper" or anyone else who loves art, don’t wait until February 29th to take the leap to artCentral’s lovely Hyde House and the terrific exhibition, HEART & SOUL! Weekend gallery hours are Fridays and Saturdays, 12:00-5:00 p.m. and Sundays, 1:00-5:00 p.m. For more information call (417) 358-4404 or visit www.artcentralcarthage.org.
“Froggy Goes a Courtin’” is on the wall waiting for your visit!