Shelby Heintz Artist's statement

Shelby Heintz

Kasson-Mantorville High School

Send It On

Acid deposition begins with the burning of fossil fuels for energy, resulting in air pollution containing sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.  Often carried by winds for hundreds of miles, these compounds may be deposited on the earth by dry deposition.  Dry deposition is a danger effect; it’s a process where the acidic particles are absorbed by plants, animals and the water system.  The acidic compounds may also be deposited through rain, snow and cloud water, also known as wet deposition. These sulfate and nitrate particles scatter and absorb light, reducing visibility by over 60%, causing plants to not receive the correct amount of sunlight they need to grow.

Southern Minnesota is primarily a farming community with over 3% of the United States’ crops coming from our region.  If acidic rain became a larger concern in our area, the farm land wouldn’t be able to produce enough corn, soybeans and wheat.  As result, it would also be more challenging to feed livestock, which would be more susceptible to disease after the contamination of their water supply.  For these 81,000 farmers, making a stable income would be challenging.  But these people aren’t just farmers; they are my family, my friends and my neighbors.  If this supply was cut from them, our community, my town, would begin to fall apart.

My goal is to represent emotion throughout my Water is Life composition.  Using the rule of thirds, color, shapes, size balance and movement, my aim was to draw the viewer’s eye in the direction the birds are flying- following the light of a new beginning.  But these are not just normal birds; they are metaphors of communication in our society.  Using methods of shared ideas such as music, poems and even art itself, I’ve found ways we can inspire everyone about cleaning the water on our earth.

In my composition, the person standing in the rain is just that – a person.  That one small person is sending an overwhelming message about cleaner water.  I don’t believe that you have to be a person of power to stop the effects of acid precipitation.  Imagine if one small person was one hundred small people, one thousand or one million.  If we all work together to save our planet, we are sure to find the light.

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