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Felipe Ortiz


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Visual and Performing Arts

Resource Type

  • Artwork

Regional Focus


"The Heart of the Ocean"

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  • This mural by Felipe Ortiz in Boston, Massachusetts depicts an imaginary coral reef that resembles an anatomical heart. 
  • The artist statement is a call to action to do our individual parts in the fight against warming oceans.
Teaching Tips


  • Students can bring their own ideas and interpretations to the artwork, which will help them to develop critical thinking skills.
  • This mural invites students to view the ocean from the level of marine life living on its floor.
  • The resource provides action steps that individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprints.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand how warming oceans affect the coral reefs and the sea life that depends on them.


  • Art classes could discuss how the artist statement and the emotional nature of artwork can be used to persuade viewers to see an issue in a new way. 
  • Art students could analyze the composition of the mural and the contrast between bold, saturated colors and muted colors, and how the use of color delivers an emotional impact.
  • Other resources related to these topics include this mural about marine animals' anger towards humans' impact on the environment and this lesson about polar climates.
Scientist Notes
The resource describes sustainable ways to consume seafood and make eco-friendly choices to conserve marine resources from over-exploitation. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Science and Engineering
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • Visual and Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard C1 - Perceive and analyze artistic work.
      • D.C1.9-12prof.b Analyze how experiencing visual imagery affects the viewer’s understanding of the world.
      • D.C1.9-12acc.b Evaluate the effectiveness of an image to influence ideas, feelings, and behaviors of various audiences.
    • Visual Arts: Standard C2 - Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
      • D.C2.4 Interpret art by analyzing relevant subject matter, characteristics of form, and use of media.
      • D.C2.5 Interpret art by referring to contextual information and analyzing subject matter, characteristics of form, and use of media.
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