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4c0ff5b158607 Hannah Ehli, Trek North Charter High School, Bemidji, MN
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Rachel Lash, Trek North Charter High School, Bemidji, MN

Hannah Ehli, Trek North Charter High School, Bemidji, MN

Water is Life: Images for Our Times

Student Art Reveals Truth About Gulf Oil Spill

June 08, 2023

The video and photo images from the Gulf of Mexico that show billowing clouds of oil still pouring from a deepwater well--the largest oil spill in the history of the United States--only tell part of this horrifying environmental story. Artwork created by students at Minnesota's Trek North Charter High School reveal the connection of the world's oceans and all bodies of water to human life. (Gulf spill teaching resources available)

Hannah Ehli and Rachel Lash, students in Kristin Gustafson’s Trek North Charter High School art class, recently took two of the top six spots, from a field of more than 250 Minnesota student artists, to win scholarships as part of the Minnesota Freshwater Society’s 6th Annual Water is Life Art Contest. 

Ehli's artwork shows a maze of plumbing pipes--that invoke contrasting thoughts of healthful drinking water along with images of poisonous lead pipes or underwater oil well connections--that reach directly into a human heart. A broken pipe in the artwork is a haunting and omnious image when viewed alongside contemporary headlines. Lash's image (click artwork to change slides) shows a child who does not have access to clean water against a backdrop of news clippings.



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