Art For Awareness Club cancels plans as COVID-19 causes stay-at-home orders

Adam Benchekroun, Staff Writer

Sketch provided by Art for Awareness President and senior Kathleen Santacruz. The theme of the environment and conservation serves as their main goal.

Although the plans for their first year changed, their main goal of creating environmental consciousness in their community is still the foundational philosophy of Bonita Vista High’s (BVH) Art for Awareness club.

Founded by President and senior Kathleen Santacruz, the original project the club had planned for their first year was to paint a mural at a local elementary school that would perpetuate environmental awareness through a younger generation of  kids.

Unfortunately, due to the steep price a project like this bodes and the stay-at-home orders that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, the club was not able to fulfill this original ambition. However, they were able to still have an impact on a smaller scale with posters.

“I feel as though we were still able to promote awareness even if only in our club members,” Santacruz said. “If anything, it helped to generate more interest in the environment through the project that they spent time researching and taking part of, and it helped to present members with the idea that they were able to make amazing art, no matter what media they decided to use, for something they were advocating for — a skill or resource they could use again in the future.” 

Sketch provided by Art for Awareness President and senior Kathleen Santacruz. It depicts two fish swimming beside bottle caps.

The posters were a project that the club took on as an alternative to their original plans. Due to the move to distance learning, they were unable to put up the posters around school and could not reach the community in the way they wanted to. However, they were able to leave an impression and have an impact on those who joined the club and participated. Club member and junior Olivia Huey felt that the club was important in that it pushed students to be aware of what is going on around them.

“I think it’s so important for this club to exist because high school is the perfect time for students to get engaged in being part of the effort to promote awareness,” Huey said. 

With the unprecedented circumstances the club was faced with, they are still proud of the impact they had and feel their time as a part of the effort to promote awareness through art was meaningful and impactful, regardless of scale.

“I feel like we were able to promote awareness amongst our peers [and] I learned the importance of knowing your worth and what impact a small group can have on the lives of many,” Vice President and senior Julia Hill said. 

Being a senior, Santacruz will not be able to lead the group going into the next school year, but current sophomore Bibiana Martinez will be the club’s new president and the Art for Awareness club will continue its tenure at BVH with the same goal of spreading awareness through art.

“Today, there are many opinions and many issues going on that many students are becoming more and more motivated to pursue. Giving those students a platform as influential as art and showing them just how moving it can be and giving those students a voice that they could use to advocate for the things that they care about is important,” Santacruz said.