Art may not be able to solve our most pressing environmental problems, but it can at least bring attention to them. The Estria Foundation is attempting to do just that with the Water Writes campaign, a project that will create 10 murals addressing the water crisis in 10 cities over the next 10 months.
The campaign started in Los Angeles earlier this month with a mural conceived of by local artists and students, as well as organizations including the Mobile Mural Lab, the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, and Graffiti Saved My Life. The L.A. mural should be finished this weekend.
From L.A., the project moved to Oakland—the home of Estria Miyashiro, a renowned street artist and founder of the Estria Foundation. That mural features two thirty-foot tall kids holding garden tools and reusable water bottles, among other things.
"We're working with one water organization and one youth organization from each area, as well as a lead artist and a team of artists," says Miyashiro. Each city also plays host to a paint party.
So far, the campaign has been successful. Miyashiro estimates that well over 100 people showed up before noon to the Oakland paint party alone. Next up: bringing Water Writes to Hawaii, Arizona, Palestine, El Salvador, Columbia, and the Philippines.
"We hope to draw attention to different issues concerning water across the planet. It's a wide range—everything from access to safe drinking water to conservation to pollution in the ocean," explains Miyashiro.