Home » CHS Art Club students’ work recognized by the White House in national art competition on climate change

CHS Art Club students’ work recognized by the White House in national art competition on climate change

by Mary Galioto

Hopewell Valley Central High School Art Club students are making their voices heard through their thought-provoking artwork highlighting the impact of climate change. These talented young artists recently submitted their creations to Art x Climate, a national call for visual art related to the fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5). The White House has announced that out of the numerous submissions received, three artworks from Hopewell Valley Central High School were selected for inclusion in this important initiative. Furthermore, one of these talented students, 10th grader Amelia Klun, is among the top five winners out of over 800 submissions.

Amelia Klun’s artwork, titled “Cautionary Tale,” painted in gouache, secured her place among the winners of this prestigious competition. Her piece focuses on the theme of air pollution and fossil fuels, utilizing striking imagery to convey the potential consequences of climate change. The artwork juxtaposes factory emissions with childlike drawings, representing the vulnerability of our future generations and the need for urgent action to prevent further damage.

In her artist statement, Klun explained, “Broken green crayons symbolize the destruction of nature as climate change worsens. This is a completely possible future for our planet, with bumblebee death tolls rising due to climate change and clean water becoming inaccessible for the less fortunate. Without action, this problem will only worsen.”

Julia Yu, 9th grade

Joining Klun as selected artists are Julia Yu and Ananya Anil, both 9th graders. Yu’s artwork illustrates the dangers of atmospheric pollution caused by agriculture and livestock, employing a somber yellowed wash on the painting to evoke a sense of somber timelessness. In her artist statement, Yu reflects on the ongoing battle to protect our planet and emphasizes the need for collective action. She stated, “The longstanding battle of protecting the earth we share feels reminiscent of the battles we had, and still have, amongst society. The opponent has not differed, and it is still us.”

Anil’s artwork centers around the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, which inhabits the waters of the east coast of the United States. Through her painting, Anil aims to create a sense of urgency and hope as the whale disentangles itself from netting. She emphasizes that the sorrowful situation faced by the North Atlantic right whales can only be resolved through human intervention. Anil passionately asserts, “The sorrowful situation of the North Atlantic right whales can only be solved by us, humans, and if we all commit to it, I believe we can do it.”

Ananya Anil, 9th grade

Art x Climate, led by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the U.S. Global Change Research Program, received an overwhelming response of over 800 submissions from artists across the country. This initiative serves to showcase new perspectives on climate change and expand the community of individuals dedicated to finding solutions. A panel of experts evaluated the submissions, considering criteria such as originality, creative design, and alignment with climate science. The winners, including our talented students, along with 87 other finalists, including 10 youth artists, will have their artwork featured in the forthcoming NCA5 report. The complete gallery of selected art will be accessible upon the publication of NCA5 later this year.

Congratulations to all who entered and to art teacher Carolyn McGrath for continuously mentoring our CHS students!

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