SIS student wins award in global environmental arts contest

Posted on Nov 23 2022


Claire Park

Claire Park, a student at Saipan International School, has won a Notable Award for her Art submission to the 2022 Ocean Awareness Contest, sponsored by Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs. Park, whose piece was selected from more than 4,000 entries from around the world, will be featured in Bow Seat’s Gallery, which showcases environmental advocacy artwork created by a global community of youth.

The 2022 Contest, “The Funny Thing About Climate Change,” challenged participants to create pieces that subvert expectations for what climate change messaging typically looks like through unorthodox approaches like humor, satire, parody, irony, and positivity. Park’s Art submission, titled “Vacation in Antarctica,” focused on melting glaciers and rising sea levels by using humor. She did this by indirectly pointing out the melting glaciers and the effects they would eventually have on animals through a travel poster that is advertising a nice vacation.

Bow Seat’s annual Ocean Awareness Contest, now on its 12th year, is an award-winning educational program that provides students with a platform to creatively explore, express, and advocate for environmental issues. Since its launch, the contest has engaged nearly 30,000 middle and high schoolers from all 50 U.S. states and more than 130 countries. Bow Seat has awarded over $625,000 in scholarships to help advance teens’ creative talents and passion for the environment.

Claire Park’s award-winning artwork, titled “Vacation in Antarctica,” focuses on melting glaciers and rising sea levels while using humor. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

“When we launched the 2022 contest, we recognized that the theme—to use humor and other unconventional approaches in climate change communications—would be challenging,” said Linda Cabot, founder and president of Bow Seat. “We are so impressed by participants like Claire who stepped out of her comfort zone and demonstrated how comedy, satire, and irony can be effective ways to address difficult subjects.

“Although climate change is no laughing matter, the judges were entertained by many of the submissions, which collectively showed us how humor offers a safe way for people to approach, understand, and start conversations about divisive topics,” added Cabot.

For her piece, titled Vacation in Antarctica, Park said she tried to convey the topic of the melting glaciers and rising sea levels by indirectly pointing out the melting glaciers and the effects they would eventually have on animals through a travel poster advertising a nice vacation. “The drinks the penguin is holding represent either a cause or an effect that relates to the topic: the red drink represents the burning of coal and fossil fuel, the yellow drink shows Antarctica melting, and the colorful drink references deforestation,” commented Park. “The message of this artwork is that if we don’t act now and change, it will cause more damage to not only the animals depending on the habitat, but to us as well.” (PR)

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