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Don't Block the View
By Katelyn Helberg
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2020 - Division III (Grades 9-12)

Through the depiction of a child trying to view the withered environment outside his window, I wanted to elaborate on the importance of teaching my generation and the next about the impacts of our environmental mistakes. The adult in the drawing is trying to cover up the window with a curtain depicting a serene mountain landscape as a representation of how past generations have dealt with climate change. Instead of teaching younger generations how to be more conscious of their footprint on Earth, they have put the issue on the back burner in an attempt to save the youth from worrying about the problem. To communicate the message of climate change, I contrasted the warm toned desert outside the window with the cool toned mountain landscape on the curtain. I repeated the image of mountains both outside the window and on the curtain to elucidate the drastic change that might occur in our environment. While climate change should be important to all humans, I personally understand that our past choices will impact the state of our planet in the future. I want my generation and future generations to live on this planet without worrying about rising sea levels or a lack of resources, but unfortunately that may no longer be an option. To further enhance my personal connection to the drawing, I used both my little brother and my mother as the people in the piece showcasing how this could be my future reality. I want viewers to see my drawing as both a caveat and a call to action. If I can spark an emotional response that makes other people reflect on their own environmental impact, then I have helped one more person understand why there must be an emphasis on saving our planet before it’s too late.