AP Art takes on Earth Hour


March 28, 2020 is the Earth Hour, a grassroots movement that has its origins in Sydney in 2007. It began when homes and businesses near Sydney turned their lights off for one hour to make a stand against climate change. 

All around the globe, millions will reduce their environmental impact by reducing emissions, raising awareness and demonstrating. In WHS’s AP Studio Art class, the movement and the environmental scene in general, has captivated two artists to communicate the continued environmental crisis without words.

“It [is] something that kind of captivates them, that they are interested in” said AP Studio art teacher Julia Bush. “They [came] up with eight different ideas for their [art] themes and then we narrow it down [to] things they are passionate about”

Tilly Gardiner ‘21 decided to take on the climate change theme by incorporating plastic, trash and other waste into her concentration, a year long portfolio containing 15 pieces of art. 

“The basis of my concentration is how humans are affecting the earth and the environment,” said Gardiner. “I want people to see how much of an impact we are having on the environment.”

Her main drawing is of an octopus with bottle caps as suckers; however, she also covered other aspects of climate change.

“A few of them are air pollution from factories,” said Gardiner. “One of them is climate change in the ocean with coral bleaching.”

Gardiner will be using her art’s unique visual spin on the issue of plastic pollution to bring it to light. She hopes people will recognize their ability to reuse waste as art instead of further endangering the environment.         

Another AP Studio Art Student, Sydney Crane ‘21, has taken this opportunity to illustrate the issues facing Earth’s endangered animals.

“I want people to feel something, because if they feel something they are more inclined to do something,” said Crane. “I wanted to [include] places where you could adopt animals and prevent them from becoming further endangered.”

In her pledge to help the endangered animals, Crane tried to depict the animals in a way that would elicit sympathy. Her mission of increasing awareness of her topic was very influential in her decision for the theme of her artwork. 

“[The art] depicts how [animals] are becoming endangered,” said Crane. “Some of them will have guns showing they are being hunted for sport or ivory behind it.”

With the image associated with the reasons for endangerment, Crane hopes high school students who are disconnected from it, will have more care and connection to the topic.

“I think [those] are really deep topics…something that they [took] a stance on”, said Bush. “[This art] helps other people see their perspective and that is what art is all about.”