This mural by Mandy van Leeuwen uses "footprint" both metaphorically and literally by showing various pairs of human shoes as well as polar bear tracks going into the distance.
Her artist statement for this mural opens a discussion about the importance of solidarity, as humans take responsible action for the preservation of our home.
Students bring their own ideas and interpretations to the artwork that add to the artist's intention.
This mural focuses on the idea that even though people have cultural differences, represented by the various types of shoes, in the end we're all people and share the common goal of survival.
Exploring the map that is included on the webpage will prompt students to connect to the visual metaphor the artist uses of people standing on the edge of wilderness in Churchill, Canada.
The metaphor of humans standing at the edge of wilderness that bears live in is worth exploration for science classes when discussing habitat loss.
A discussion about putting aside differences in the interest of the preservation of our collective habitat is an easy subject to launch into for social studies classes.
The artist's choice of the sun on the horizon can be interpreted as the dawn of a new human movement, the setting of an era when humans flourish, or simply marking the time of year when the sun crosses the horizon and the bears take to the ice.
Other resources related to these topics include thismural about marine animals' anger towards human's impact on the environment and thislessonabout polar climates.
The art piece presents a connection between humans and nature and highlights the importance to conserve biodiversity and wildlife. This resource is recommended for teaching.
National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts: Standard 7 - Perceive and analyze artistic work.
VA:Re7.2.IIa Evaluate the effectiveness of an image or images to influence ideas, feelings, and behaviors of specific audiences.
VA:Re7.2.5a Identify and analyze cultural associations suggested by visual imagery.
Visual Arts: Standard 8 - Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
VA:Re8.1.4a Interpret art by referring to contextual information and analyzing relevant subject matter, characteristics of form, and use of media.