O-riginal Art Activities: Mississippi River Abstraction Inspired by Ana Hernandez

The work of Ana Hernandez explores themes of colonization and the commodification and consumption of a people and a place. In this O-riginal Art Activity examine the history of the Mississippi River.

Learn about the Mississippi River watershed while creating an abstract work of art.

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Ana Hernandez, Those who dwell in the Waters, Acrylic, latex house paint, gel medium on canvas, 2019

The visual work of Ana Hernandez involves poetic and intuitive abstracted explorations of heavily researched subjects. Utilizing painting, sculpture, assemblage, printmaking and installation, her work often challenges colonial views of history and culture while addressing issues of identity, indigeneity, the environment, and systems of power.

Supplies List:

Cardstock, Color Pencils, Markers


Step 1: Where does the water in the Mississippi River come from? What is the ecological history of the river? Study the image of the river paths throughout history and the map of the Mississippi River watershed. Notice how the colors and shapes create an abstract image.

Step 2: Use color pencils to fill in the different parts of the watershed.

Step 3: Use a marker to draw the Mississippi River and its many paths over time.

Step 4: Add detail to your map by including the smaller rivers that flow in the Mississippi from the watershed.