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Arts 4 All: Bear on Thin Ice

Bear on Thin Ice is a visual art project inspired by the plight of the Polar Bear whose habitat is rapidly disappearing due to climate change. After studying the bear’s habitat and behavior, the class chose to depict a bear trapped on a small ice floe. As the bears’ habitat recedes, they travel longer distances to hunt, burning essential calories. When unable to catch their primary food, seals, they are forced to the cities and their garbage.  Trash does not have the fat content to sustain the bears and as a result they are starving.

The papier-mache bear “Frosty” (on view at the Morean) was made from all recycled materials. His armature was formed with Amazon shipping boxes, his muscles made from wrapped and tied plastic bags, and his skin was made from old newspapers. He is filled with yogurt containers and plastic packaging, and his fur is paper clay from recycled paper and salvaged joint compound. His ice floe came from discarded Styrofoam left in alleys.

It is the hope of the young artists who created this project that we take the steps necessary to save our polar icecaps, our bears, and ultimately, ourselves. 

Northeast High School, class of Angela Shotts.

Teaching artist: Yarrow Reis

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