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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Visual and Performing Arts

Resource Type

  • Artwork

Regional Focus

Global, North America


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  • This environmental mural by artist Areúz depicts the interdependence of humanity and the Earth, conveying that whatever damage we do to the Earth, we are ultimately doing to ourselves. 
  • The artist's statement provides further insight into the details of the "hurt being" highlighted in the work, providing opportunities for discussion about the current threats to the island of Cozumel and to our planet. 
Teaching Tips


  • Students can bring their own interpretations and ideas to the artwork that could lead to meaningful class discussions on climate issues. 
  • The artist also provides a list of ways that we can take action to address climate change. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers may want to provide background on the unique, fragile ecosystem of Cozumel in order to bring context to the art. 
  • There is a link to the activation of the Sea Walls public artwork series which may help students see the bigger picture on the impetus for this work. 


  • Science classes could research this area of Mexico or other similar island habitats and write about or discuss what makes these ecosystems particularly vulnerable. 
  • Art classes could discuss the artist's color and image choices and how those choices help emphasize emotions conveyed through the piece. 
  • Students can work in small groups or pairs to discuss how this piece addresses the themes of the Sea Walls project - biodiversity loss, endemism, and ecosystem vulnerability. 
  • Classes could also analyze this artwork by an artist in Cancun, Mexico and discuss how both artists attempt to invoke emotion and inspire action through their murals. 
  • Other resources on this topic include this Khan Academy lesson on conservation and biodiversity, this video about interdependent relationships in ecosystems, and this exhibit of artwork on ethics, excess, and extinction.
Scientist Notes
The resource underscores the interconnectedness of human and nature. It is a piece of art that can inspire students to lead in marine resource conservation and carbon neutral projects. This is recommended for teaching.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • 8.RI.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard 8 - Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
      • VA.8.RE2.8 1. Interpret art by analyzing how the interaction of subject matter, formal art elements, composition, use of media, art-making approaches, and relevant contextual information contributes to understanding messages or ideas and mood conveyed.
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