Brahmas make a splash in annual poster competition


Using their artwork to educate others on water conservation, two Diamond Bar High School students placed in the top three at the annual “Water is Life” student poster competition.

Established in 1990, this competition aims to convey the importance of water conservation and its efficient usage.

Due to the online format of the preceding school year, the winners of the contest were not announced until this year, with senior Maya Mehta and junior Hailey Tatebe placing first and third, respectively. Thanks to their high placements, the Brahmas’ creations were selected to be featured in the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s 2022 “Water is Life ” student art calendar. 

“My art teacher, Mr. Hwang, was the first person who originally introduced the contest and encouraged me to show off my art skills and participate in the contest,” Tatebe said via Instagram. “Plus, I like participating in art contests because they bring a little challenge with a little anticipation to see if mine was selected.”

On top of the required water conservation theme, the students each added their own personal touches to make their pieces more unique.

“I made [my] piece last year when everything was online, so I painted a virtual meeting [with] each little screen featuring a different way that water is important to us,” Mehta said via Instagram. “I like how it felt relevant to the situation that we were in, but still incorporated the theme.”

Despite the challenges the juniors faced while creating their art pieces, both expressed a desire to continue participating in such competitions in the future. 

“It’s challenging to create an interesting piece within the constraints of a theme like “Water is Life,” Mehta said. “It’s an exercise in creativity, and I like the challenge.”

On top of the difficulty in being creative within a limited theme, Tatebe faced challenges with organizing her priorities and time management.

“Some challenges I faced while creating this piece was meeting the deadline of this project while also creating other art pieces that were due for art class,” Tatebe said. “I also had to balance school work and [work] on my Girl Scout Gold Award.”

Although both Mehta and Tatebe had participated in this challenge in previous years, this was their first time making it to the finalist stage and having their work featured in the calendar. 

“I think it’s very exciting [to win]!” Mehta said. “I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was featured in the calendar.”