Saturday, October 19, 2019

Art to Create Positive Change

Kindness is something we talk about a lot, I feel. And yet, in my experience it doesn’t often dig down deep and take root in our hearts the way I believe it should. Many people—myself included—can hear about acts of kindness, or read about them, or watch videos on them, and perhaps they’re inspired by that kindness for a time, but they never really choose to act on it. I’ve been trying to change that in myself recently, so when I was presented with the assignment to make a print of something in the world on a larger scale that I cared about, I decided to act on that inspiration. My art is that of two people holding hands, meant to symbolize that we should all look out for each other and offer a helping hand to those who need it. This can be something like going to sit with someone who’s alone at lunch, or stopping to help pick up some papers another student might have dropped, or staying a little longer to help a teacher clean up a messy room after the bell has rung. Or it can be as simple as holding the door for someone and giving a fellow human being a friendly smile as you cross paths. It’s surprisingly easy to show just a little more kindness than necessary, I’ve found.

Mental health is a big problem for many teens in our generation. It is important to reach put to a trusted adult or friend if you are feeling suicidal, have depression, or anxiety. These are serious issues and they are not something to be pushed aside or away. \Keeping these feelings bottled inside can cause serious emotional and mental health problems. Below is the reaction to my piece from one if my close friends.

1. There are 12.7 million tons of trash dumped in the ocean each year, ONE ton is equal to about 2000 pounds
2. There has been plastic found in the deepest part of the ocean
3. Every toothbrush you have ever used is still on the earth
4. 100,000 marine animals and 1 million birds die from plastic each year
5. It is possible to live without plastic we just need to try

Things we can do to help is to try not to buy plastic water bottles, you can use them more than once, or just use reusable water bottles. When you go to the store, bring your own bags, they are better and easier to use. There are wooden utensils and toothbrushes that are better for the environment. There are many simple ways to cut down your plastic use, if everyone does something small, it can make a huge impact.

While preparing for my opioid print I researched the topic to find out more about the issue. Patients are prescribed opioids to deal with severe pain. Twenty one to twenty nine of these patients will abuse the use of these drugs. Over 70,000 people died from opioids in 2017 which was nearly a ten percent increase in deaths from 2016. That means that around 130 people died in 2017 from overdosing. Opioids are spreading across the nation very quickly. Major cities across the United States saw a 54 percent increase in overdoses between 2016 and 2017. There are many ways we can work towards protecting ourselves and others from the opioid crisis. We can avoid using opioids ny asking our doctors for alternatives. Informing our communities about the epidemic will alert them and they will be more likely to stay away for opioids. If we all work together we can work towards a brighter future by driving people away from opioids and therefore not getting hooked and not overdosing.

The title of my piece is “Power to our Planet”. I made it for the purpose of encouraging people to play their part in taking care of our environment. The print is meant to be an uplifting but firm inspiration. I shared it by putting it up on a telephone post in my neighborhood. It is in the entrance of Bemis Library, where there are many pedestrians who will be able to notice the piece. I hope that when people see it, they are reminded of the role we all have in making the world a better place - not specific to the environment. Although I believe that the large corporations (responsible for more than 70% of greenhouse gas emissions) should take responsibility and measures to fix what they have done, all actions to prevent climate change are important.

“Always stay silent and keep your hands where they can see them” Is what my dad always tells me. These are the struggles that me as a young black male go through having to be told that almost every time I get in the car and having the fear of not knowing if I’m going to die or not when I get pulled over.

People should treat people with kindness. I feel like my image will reach others by seeing that my sunflower is a dark thing in a happy place. I hope the message will show that it’s important to treat people with kindness instead of being rude or treating them like they’re not deserving.

I'm concerned about the population decrease in bees due to pesticides. Millions of bees are dying every year because a widely used class of pesticides. We rely on bees to pollinate crops that provide up to %90 of the world's food. I feel like my image and message will reach others because of how much bees impact our food supply.

The world over the span of humans has been creative. Everyone finds new ways to have fun and make new tools to help us everyday. But with the expansion of ideas comes more pollution. More factories are being produced with robots but all of that is polluting into the atmosphere and destroying it. The worlds expanding population has the worlds trash levels at a high. You can help the cause by throwing away trash, being more efficient with what you use, not driving as often and don’t support pollution. Also take part in little things like throwing away a paper or bag you find blowing around. These things won’t stop pollution, but prevent it.

My topic is the suicide rate in transgender people. I think this shows how much blood is shed because society can't accept them. I think it will shed light on a topic that is typically pushed under the rug because its controversial. It educates people on the LGBT+ community.

Bees have been dying off rapidly since 2018. This problem is very serious, bees pollinate more than $15 billion worth every year. If all the bees die off, this will cause no produce or plants, if all the plants die off then we will have no animals, and slowly our whole ecosystem would die off. Scientists believe that some reasons that the bees are dying off is from parasites, pesticides, poor nutrition, habitat loss and more. The main cause of this problem is pesticides. According to, almost two thirds of hives surveyed in Canada and in the United States contain at least one type of pesticide. The worst type of pesticide is called, neonicotinoids. This is a pesticide found on the seeds of crops. Honeybee colonies rely on the seeds for pollen. So what can you do? There are many things that you can do to help save the bees, some things include, planting bee-friendly flowers, planting herbs and vegetables, leave out water for the bees, buying organic fruits and vegetables, building a bee habitat, not putting pesticides on your lawn and more! If you are interested in planting bee friendly flowers, look for flowers with open petals for the bees to land on like cosmos and zinnias. Also look for colors like blue, purple, and yellow. Bees love blue, purple, and yellow flowers, try to avoid planting red flowers, bees can not see the color red so they aren’t attracted to it. Bees also love herbs such as lavender, basil, mint, sage, and cilantro. You can plant these herbs and flowers in your garden or in a pot on your porch. Bees need water to help build their hives, try leaving out water or even creating a water source with a bird bath, small bowl, or a household container. Organic fruits and veggies are not covered with pesticides when being grown. This helps the bees get pollen and it also helps the plants grow. While pesticides help with keeping pests out of your garden it also keeps bees out of your garden, instead of using pesticides try using a different alternative such as, crop rotation, row covers, spraying your plants with insecticidal soap, and using plants that help repel pests. The last way to help is building a bee habitat. Bee habitats is a great way to increase the population of bees. You can buy bee habitats in home improvement stores, or you can make one by just cutting holes into untreated wood and covering it in chicken wire. Bees need our help, without bees or whole ecosystem will die. We can’t let the bees die out. So what are you going to do to help?

I researched depression and other mental illnesses and what there effect is on youth. I found that LGBTQ+ youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide, experience suicidal thoughts, and self-harm, compared to those that are straight. When making my print I researched imagery for depression and found the semicolon. The semicolon is used when an author could have ended a sentence but chose to keep going. The author is the person and the sentence is their life. Another thing i found was smiling depression, when a person is depressed but keeps a smile on there face seeming happy and care free seemingly putting on a show to fool everyone and if they commit suicide or self harm it comes as a surprise in my print if you cover the left half of the print the person looks sad and the wing on that side is smaller with feathers falling off and a heart that is being mented threw slowly getting destroyed but with the right side covered you see someone who is happy with lively wings. Mental illness is a huge problem now and for the longest time I've done project after project on mental illness trying to help in any way possible i hope that this project can inspire others like me to try and help. I don't want to end this with something like "talk to a trusted adult" or "talk to someone about what is going on" because i know it can be hard personally i barely trust adults and my friends sure they are good to talk to but its not the same if your looking for tips i would just talk to something it doesn't have to be a person it could be a pet or an intimate object. Do something you love whether its doing art, playing a sport, or just sitting somewhere quiet whatever helps you do it if you feel like you cant do something then don't push your self you are healing take it easy.

My art is about mental health, and that it is okay to not be okay. I want my art to convey that you are not alone and not the only one going through something hard. Colorado is ranked 9th in the states with the most suicides, this is very sad and although it seems difficult it can to be changed. If you are struggling, reach out to a friend, a teacher, a sibling, or anyone you trust. Make sure to get involved in your school or community to reach out and meet new people. Make sure you have good music that you can listen to whenever you are having a bad day. It is okay to not be okay, and people will always be there for you no matter what.

or my art piece I researched the topic Mental Health. I researched this because I feel this is a big issue today. I also researched it because it is Anti- Bullying month. Some facts about mental health is one in five teens between ages thirteen to eighteen have or will have a serious mental illness. Teen suicide is the third leading cause of death from ages ten to twenty four in the US. Depression affects about 20% of adolescents. Most of this can be caused because of school, friends, life at home, etc. If you think you are depressed or are having thoughts, or if you are someone noticing your friend with these things. Some resources are safe to tell, the suicide hotline, or your school security or councilors/ a trusted adult. Some ways to take care of your mental health are working out, drinking water, sleeping, eat better meals, surround yourself with good people, learn how to distract yourself of stress, and get help when you need it. Don’t stay quiet.

Did you know that everyday, 8 million pieces of plastic finds its way within our oceans. That 8 million pieces affects millions of sea life, like turtles. I had chosen to draw a turtle eating plastics with trash and litter around it. I think that it framed what goes on in the ocean pretty well. It hurts sea life of all kind, not just turtles. Of course, one way to reduce plastic is to use reusable straws or paper straws, but I think we need to go farther. We as a whole earth or even just state need to begin working together to reduce plastic. We need to start working on degradable plastic, stronger types of paper products or even metal. Plastic kills, cola kills, water bottle kills, so many things kill. We need to begin taking a step forward to fix it.

My piece 'Social Justice' is about everyone loving everyone no matter your race, religion, or skin color. Everyone loving everyone would make the world a better place and that is why I made this piece.

Currently 18 deaths linked to vaping have been confirmed in 15 states.The number of juuling-related illnesses has currently reached 1,080 cases up from 805 announced last week. Quitting vaping is not that easy, "the help and support you need is just a text away. All you have to do to get started is text DITCHJUUL to 88709." Tell your friends to stop juuling before it's too late.

This print is about frogs and how chemical are making them deformed. many pesticides and metals such as zinc copper and iron are doing this. we can help stop the problem by using less pesticides and other chemical in our lawns.