Detail from "Treading Water" by Kinzie McKeown, a student at Santa Barbara High School.

Detail from "Treading Water" by Kinzie McKeown, a student at Santa Barbara High School.

Through Art, Teens Explore the Impacts of Global Warming

After the Flood

Though ongoing controversy continues to roadblock the painting of a light blue line on 1,000 feet of city streets to represent potential water levels if global warming continues unchecked, the Light Blue Line Project (LBL) is sponsoring an art exhibit entitled “Flooded Cities” during the month of September at East/West Gallery in downtown Santa Barbara. The exhibit is expected to showcase paintings, photographs and sculptures with each artist giving his or her own interpretation of what would happen if all of Greenland melted. Santa Barbara artist Laura Wilkinson will have art displayed at the exhibit along with students from Santa Barbara High School and other area high schools, as well as students from Project Renaissance, the arts and advocacy program for at-risk youth.

Charlene Huston of the LBL Project is heading up the “Flooded Cities” exhibit, and believes that the artists involved are committed to bringing about change through their submitted entries. There will be a public reception on Sunday, September 7th from 1-4 pm, and Ms. Huston expects the event to be well-attended, both by LBL supporters and by those individuals intent on putting a stop to the LBL Project. East-West Gallery is donating space for the event, and a portion of the proceeds from sales will go to LBL to fund the organization’s ongoing fight to bring global warming awareness to the Santa Barbara community.

While LBL proponent Bruce Caron stepped down from the legal battle with developer Jerry Beaver and Stop the Blue Line Group, he remains open to other ways of enlightening the Santa Barbara community about their need to stay educated about global warming and how it will affect the future of the world around us. Just before Fiesta last year, Mr. Caron pulled his application to paint the 1,000 foot blue line depicting the threat of global warming and the inevitable effect of sea levels rising 21 feet due to Greenland’s ice sheets melting.

Mr. Caron was excited that the City of Ventura recently took on that challenge with their Sea Level Awareness Program (SLAP) led by student-led group Kids-vs.-Global-Warming. On June 29th of this year, the mayor of Ventura allowed students to paint a city parking garage to show the effects of rising seawaters. It is these types of projects that Mr. Caron is excited about. He hopes that this upcoming exhibit at East/West Gallery excites the community about becoming more involved in the LBL Project.


Flooded Cities” opens at East/West Gallery September 7th and runs through September 26th. Admission is free. For more information on the Light Blue Line Project, call 729-0603 or 729-4398 or visit

Abby Reutzel is an intern at the Independent.

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