Making a Stand at the SEMO Art Show


Patrick Wright

The idea came after Ms. Perry announced our newest Art II assignment. Students were to create a piece of art that symbolized some sort of environmental concern using only recycled materials. On December 14th through the 17th, she held a showcase of our finished projects in the commons area.


An issue that weighed close to my heart was the increasing warming of the planet and the devastation it is causing in the arctic. For example, the polar bear has nearly been driven to extinction due to its shorter hunting season. Not only are they slowly starving to death, but their land is melting beneath their feet. My project is meant to represent the slow extinction of the polar bear, the melting ice caps, and the rise of trash in the Arctic ocean. 


I knew I wanted to sculpt a polar bear that represented the arctic Delima right off the bat. With no prior knowledge of sculpting, I started by drawing a quick sketch of how I intended the polar bear to look and made a plan of the materials I wanted to use. After a week of brainstorming, I got to work. My first step was to scrounge up the materials that I needed to use. In the end, I used several pieces of styrofoam, plastic cups, cardboard boxes, drink carriers, plastic water bottles, milk cartons, and a beheaded cardboard elephant to make my vision come to light. 


After almost 3 months of trial and error, countless hot glue gun burns, and 2 bottles of white paint, my polar bear was finally finished. Reaching the finish line was a very bittersweet moment. While I was relieved to have completed my project, I still felt that there was more I could’ve done. 


Submitting my art to the SEMO art show was an even bigger debacle. I had no idea if my polar bear would even be accepted and the thought of transporting it lurked in my mind. Once it was accepted I was completely ecstatic. The idea of my social issue being recognized at a semi prestigious event was huge for me. I couldn’t believe that my art would be honored at a higher platform after all my hard work. 


Seniors Chelbi Poucher, Miciala Marler, Samantha Huck, and I all had pieces that were accepted into the show. Chelbi made a ceramic spirit box and Samantha Huck placed first in looms with a beautiful woven tapestry. Similar to my piece, Miciala created a sculpture of a sea turtle to represent the pollution in the ocean. In addition to being accepted into the show, Marler placed first in the sculpture category. 


The show took place at the SEMO crisp museum from February 13 to March 13. Although I couldn’t make it to the opening ceremony, I was able to catch the show before it closed. Viewing my polar bear in a gallery was a very unique and invigorating experience. It was so refreshing to see both my and Miciola’s environmental concerns recognized and showcased in such a professional environment. It was like we were taking a stand on a very high pedestal.