College of Science

Marine Science Student Wins Congressional Art Prize

“Read Between the Lines" by Martha Wenstrup is a piece of art which aims to remind admirers of the dangers surrounding trash in the ocean by providing two visuals combined as one.
Rep. Josh Harder presents Martha Wenstrup with a first-place certificate in the Congressional Art Contest for her work

Martha Wenstrup, a current Marine Science (MSCI) student, recently won a Congressional Art Competition for her art, titled "Read Between the Lines". Her art features a powerful image of a sea turtle swimming through the ocean surrounded by marine litter. By utilizing angled panels, the viewer can imagine the sea turtle swimming unharmed through a pristine surrounding or change their viewing position to notice the alarming reality of the dangers posed by marine litter.

Martha's artwork was inspired by an introductory marine biology course she completed at Modesto High School, where she learned about the impact marine plastic pollutants have on ocean life.

“They’re tiny pieces of plastic that cause so much harm, but we can’t see them so it doesn’t seem as big of a problem as it actually is,” Wenstrup said. “With the two images merging together you see the beauty of the turtle from one side, but as you move you see that underneath all of the beauty is trash.” (Turlock Journal)

Martha was one of twenty-eight participants in the competition for her hometown district (District 10). As part of her prize, she will be gifted a trip to Washington D.C. and her art will be displayed at the U.S. Capital for a year.

Congratulations from the College of Science, Martha! To read more about her artwork, check out Martha's highlight article in the Turlock Journal.