Save Our Great Salt Lake Student Art Contest Winners


We are happy to announce the winners of the Save Our Great Salt Lake Student Art Contest.

Visual arts entries included painting, drawing, mixed media and digital art. Literary arts included poetry, short stories, and essays. Contest entrants ranged in age from K-3rd graders up to U of U undergraduate students, and winners represent all age groups.

The visual arts winners will be on display at Kingsbury Hall for the performance of Ocean Filibuster on March 23, after which they will be on display in the Center for Equity and Student Belonging office.

The literary arts winners will read their pieces at the Save Our Great Salt Lake Vigil on March 16, from 2-4PM at the Antelope Island Visitor Center Amphitheatre.

Thank you to our sponsors for supporting this contest:
Save Our Great Salt Lake
River Writing Collective
Office of Sustainability
Center for Equity and Student Belonging

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who entered!


Visual arts winners:


Pablo Cruz-Ayala
University of Utah Undergraduate
Spirit of the Great Salt Lake, Painting


Hannah Loertscher
University of Utah Undergraduate
Blessing Ceremony, Digital Art


Phoenix Williams
Salt Lake Arts Academy 7-9th grades
Wilson’s Phalarope, Painting


Amelia Wiscomb
Canyon Rim Academy, K-3rd grades
Amelia’s Amazing Jetty!!!!!!, Painting


Samuel Meikle
Highland High, 10-12th grades
Great Salt Lakeside, Painting


Sarah Giordani
University of Utah Undergraduate
Suspended in Salt, Mixed Media


Literary Arts Winners


Samantha Terrion
Canyon Rim Academy, 4-6th grades
An Ocean of Hope

A body of water, away from the crowd,

away from the houses, the cities, the loud.

Once big and majestic now small and in need.

We must try to save it for the dry is close, close, close far too close.

But there is still time, limited but some.

We must salvage and save it, for the run is so small, the run of water, of lake,

but not of heart, there is an ocean out there of hope, love, hands.

Unified hands, all hands, all colors, all sizes, all shapes but hands all the same.

They will lift, they will shape, they will save this water.

Only that is the future and we must make it the now.



Cloud Garcia-Ruiz
Salt Lake Center for Science Education, 10-12th grades
The Human Mindset

It is common for the human mind to want to claim Nature, transform her, and use her to make riches for themselves.


They fail to realize that Nature has shared her resources to others since the beginning, Many fail to listen. Many fail to realize that it’s not all yours.


When you open your ears, listen to those without words, the ones that you try to push out, you can hear them screaming

“It’s not all yours”


When you respect them, give them space, and open yourself up to their needs and listen,

You hear the whispering of sweet gifts, and they will offer it to you,


Not all

Because it’s not all yours.



Zabrina Le
University of Utah Undergraduate
To every community, group, and ecosystem that we took from, I am incredibly sorry.

Can I say I’m sorry for those who used you before?

Because I am

I am in dismay for your pain

I am in anger for your lost

I am entirely and wholly apologetic for your aching

They admired your beauty, but abused your strength

They called you precious, but took more than they needed

They painted themselves the victors, and you a mere object to take

We are not deserving

We are not even close

How can they ignore the history, the records, the balance you’ve maintained

If you walked away, we’d be left with nothing

Nothing to gaze at

Nothing to admire

A whole system, a whole community, a whole self-functioning foundation


Gone because of generations of harmful actions

Gone because of human conquering

Gone because he miscalculated your worth

Your worth should be seen as attached to ours

I only count myself deserving if you’re thriving

If the light left this planet, I’d assume you’d had passed

So when there’s threat of your light leaving our orbit

It seemed like my world was over

I can’t even fathom not having you here

Because if not for your presence, nothing seemed acceptable

If not for your energy, no mechanism would be met

So if you were taken away, I’d walk off

Off into the light

Off into the unknown

Off of this planetary plane

We must pledge our loyalty to you as a cause

To you as a being

To you as something or someone with full personhood

So I stand here and I pledge my allegiance to this enduring being

Our mother, our home, our community

– To every community, group, and ecosystem that we took from, I am incredibly sorry.