Reacting Through Art

In the coming weeks and months this blog will highlight many of the reaction essays written by the 28 freshmen who have been invited to dinner with Dean Siegel.  I know many of you are excited to read what your classmates have submitted and really – you should be.  What I’ve read has been fantastic.

Today I want to highlight a really unique and interesting submission by Alisha Camacho.  Alisha took Dean Siegel’s assignment one step further and created a  painting based on her reactions to Hot, Flat & Crowded.  She wasn’t chosen for the dinner, but I just love her creative method of expression! She says:

I have always been a visual person and I when I become emotionally invoked, I form images and colors in my mind.  Therefore, when I finished reading Hot, Flat, and Crowded, I already had different color schemes and images I wanted to express.


Alisha’s painting (above), which she calls a “propaganda poster,” was accompanied by an explanation of her ideas, which is excerpted below:

I placed a “green” version of Uncle Sam in the forefront of my painting to represent Friedman’s belief that the United States needs to be the country to initiate a Green Revolution.  …the “green” version of Uncle Sam was designed to inspire Americans to join a common cause (the Green Revolution) and to renew our patriotism and garner world respect.

To the middle and right of Uncle Sam is a representation of where the American Dream has lead us today: a “typical” American family (father, mother, daughter, son, and golden retriever) driving in their Ford, blindfolded to what lays around them.  The family does not see that their actions, guided by the ideals of the American dream (as Friedman explains within his book), helps foster global warming.

In the upper-right hand corner of the painting is an exploding alarm clock.  The clock contains numerous hands, all pointing aimlessly in different directions.  We do not know how much time we have left, and if we remain blinded to the imperil truths that lay around us, time will run out.  And there will not be anyone to watch the credits role down the screen, wondering how so many people could watch the world be destroyed.  Without doubt, Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded has again reminded me that it is imperative that action must be taken before our world suffers further permanent damage.

Alisha has agreed to exhibit her painting in Eckles Library this semester. You can see it there soon.


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