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Felipe Ortiz


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Art, Climate Action

Resource Type

  • Artwork

Regional Focus


"The Heart of the Ocean"

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  • This mural by Felipe Ortiz in Boston, Massachusetts depicts an imaginary coral reef that resembles an anatomical heart. 
  • The artist statement is a call to action to do our individual parts in the fight against warming oceans.
Teaching Tips


  • Students can bring their own ideas and interpretations to the artwork, which will help them to develop critical thinking skills.
  • This mural invites students to view the ocean from the level of marine life living on its floor.
  • The resource provides action steps that individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprints.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand how warming oceans affect the coral reefs and the sea life that depends on them.


  • Art classes could discuss how the artist statement and the emotional nature of artwork can be used to persuade viewers to see an issue in a new way. 
  • Art students could analyze the composition of the mural and the contrast between bold, saturated colors and muted colors, and how the use of color delivers an emotional impact.
  • Other resources related to these topics include this mural about marine animals' anger towards humans' impact on the environment and this lesson about polar climates.
Scientist Notes
The resource describes sustainable ways to consume seafood and make eco-friendly choices to conserve marine resources from over-exploitation. This is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 7 - Perceive and analyze artistic work.
      • VA:Re7.2.Ia Analyze how one’s understanding of the world is affected by experiencing visual imagery.
      • VA:Re7.2.IIa Evaluate the effectiveness of an image or images to influence ideas, feelings, and behaviors of specific audiences.
    • 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.
      • VA:Re8.1.5a Interpret art by analyzing characteristics of form and structure, contextual information, subject matter, visual elements, and use of media to identify ideas and mood conveyed.
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