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DP Students Protect our Oceans Through Art

Seniors+Lindsey+Weitzman+and+Asa+Merrill+matting+Jacqueline+Kelemen%27s+photography+student%27s+photos+in+preparation+for+the+Channelkeepers+Student+Art+Show.+The+exhibit+will+open+on+March+1.
Seniors Lindsey Weitzman and Asa Merrill matting Jacqueline Kelemen's photography student's photos in preparation for the Channelkeepers Student Art Show. The exhibit will open on March 1.

Seniors Lindsey Weitzman and Asa Merrill matting Jacqueline Kelemen's photography student's photos in preparation for the Channelkeepers Student Art Show. The exhibit will open on March 1.

Photo credit: Sierra Cavaletto

Photo credit: Sierra Cavaletto

Seniors Lindsey Weitzman and Asa Merrill matting Jacqueline Kelemen's photography student's photos in preparation for the Channelkeepers Student Art Show. The exhibit will open on March 1.

By Jaden Gill, Editor-in-Chief

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To locals and tourists alike, Santa Barbara is a city known for its numerous beaches and acclaimed ocean life; natural beauties made possible by non-profit organizations like Channelkeepers, an organization that works to protect and raise awareness for our oceans and watersheds.

Channelkeepers is hosting their 15th annual Santa Barbara Student Art Show exhibit, public reception, and award ceremony on March 1 from 5-8pm at the Jodi House Gallery to celebrate the theme “What the Channel Means to Me.”

High school students across Santa Barbara have submitted various forms of artwork to Channelkeepers, many of whom are Dos Pueblos students who take part in visual art, photography, or ceramics classes on campus.

Each year, DP photography teacher Jacqueline Kelemen encourages her students to submit their best photographs relating to the theme. The contest not only gives them an opportunity to showcase their work, but it allows them to support an organization that is so relevant to our community.

“Students submit artwork from all visual media that relate to our beaches, ocean wildlife, beach activities, and human destruction caused by negligence,” Kelemen said. “Students from the community have the opportunity to exhibit their work and receive prizes for their work.”

Channelkeepers’ Education and Community Outreach Director Penny Owens believes that utilizing student voices can be an extremely meaningful way to further spread their message, while giving the nonprofit a chance to educate and inspire the local youth.

Art can be an incredible tool for raising awareness,” Owens said. “We hope that by asking students to create art celebrating our Channel, they can see the natural world as a source of inspiration.”

Since visual art is universally understood, it has the power to represent a specific social issue that resonates with the public on a much deeper level.

“Art does not show people what to do, yet engaging with a piece of art can connect you to your senses, surroundings, and can provoke thoughts,” Owens said. “It is our hope that Channelkeeper’s student art show, celebrating the Channel, reminds everyone—students who created the art and the community viewing the show—about what an incredible resource we have in our own backyard and that we must work to protect it to ensure that we have a healthy, thriving Channel and ocean.”

Senior Miyu Hirose is one of the many students on campus submitting artwork to Channelkeepers for the upcoming March show. Hirose has had a passion for photography ever since she was younger, and was creatively inspired when she would watch her mother photograph the beach at Shoreline Park near their old home.

“I’m never confident about myself or anything I do, but when it comes to photography and showing my artwork, I will proudly display it in front of people,” Hirose said. “By submitting photos relating to the ocean I hope many people will realize the importance of sea life and try even harder to preserve the beauty of it.”

For Hirose, the process of choosing photos for submission was a difficult one, but with second opinions from Kelemen and her peers, she was able to narrow it down.

“I submitted 3 photos,” Hirose said. “There’s the fan favorite—my photography teacher and my friends love it as much as I do. It is a picture of three pelicans soaring right next to a forming wave. The birds are in a line and equally spaced out. The colors in the picture are very nice as well, since it has a pastel touch to it and it’s a vintage edit.”

Student voices are essential when raising awareness for the issues that matter to the youth and the community. By employing art, their message is able to appeal to a mass population, giving them an opportunity to showcase their work, while benefiting the future of Santa Barbara oceans for years to come.

 

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