CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – As the one year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey approaches, a new exhibit at the La Retama Central Library is telling the story of the historic storm through the experiences and viewpoints of students from four Coastal Bend school districts. The art collection tells the story by using the power of visual images to ignite imaginations and evoke emotions through sketches, debris, glass, molds, paints, drawings, photography, personal testimonies, and poetry.
Students who participated with this project are from Rockport Independent School District, Port Aransas Independent School District, Gregory-Portland Independent School District, Flour Bluff Independent School District and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Their artwork reflects their emotions, feelings, and experiences either at the time of evacuation, during the storm, or when they were faced with the aftermath. Many students either focused their pieces on the community or on their personal lives. The art project and the accompanying book to be published in the future was the brainchild of Dr. Laurie Turner, who collaborated with art teachers across the Coastal Bend.
Dr. Turner wrote: The power of the story comes from the art pieces, themselves. The trees that broke and uprooted. The homes and communities that lost their roofs, fences, property, and boats. The coloring of the skies and sunsets after the storm. The rains and massive flooding in the streets and homes. The pets, birds, and animals that became lost or found dead. The friendships, families, and communities that came together to volunteer to help rebuild or carry away the debris.
“As you read their stories through art, fear, loss, devastation, beauty, and hope were common themes before, during, and after the storm had passed,” Dr. Turner said. “Hurricane Harvey was a devastating event in which the citizens of Texas, our country, and world should hear from the mouths of our youth. This project has not ever been done and is unique in nature.”
Student artist Helen Mlady of Flour Bluff said: “I was inspired by the maps my family used to evacuate. Hurricane Harvey affected everyone I know in some way or another.”
Student artist Nick Morales of Flour Bluff said: “My piece shows how Hurricane Harvey affected me…But the pain from the hurricane united the community. Through all the suffering, the city came together and helped each other.”
The exhibit will be on display at the La Retama Library until September 1, 2018. The story of Hurricane Harvey as told through the student art will be archived at the La Retama Library.
La Retama Central Library is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. They are closed Sundays and Mondays.