SAUSALITO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Anyone looking to combine their passions for ocean conservation with art appreciation can see the debut of Washed Ashore: Plastics, Sea Life and Art at The Marine Mammal Center located in the Marin Headlands, in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area June 25 through October 15. Visitors to The Marine Mammal Center will be able to see and interact with the 15 colossal sculptures installed throughout the hospital and visitor center. The Center will hold a dedication and grand opening on June 25 beginning at 9 a.m. and the exhibit will officially be open to the public starting at 10 a.m. that day. In addition, the public can see one of the sculpture pieces, a harbor seal, in a variety of locations throughout the Bay Area during the four-month-long show.
“We think this exhibit will engage our visitors with the ‘pretty ugly truth’ about ocean trash and help them make the connection between their health, the health of our oceans and how their actions have an impact on both,” said Dr. Jeff Boehm, executive director at The Marine Mammal Center. “On average, 8-10% of our patient admissions are due to human interactions including those related to entanglements in trash.”
The Washed Ashore community project is the vision of artist and educator Angela Haseltine Pozzi. This community art project has turned the ugly reality of ocean trash into beautiful sculptures of the marine life that is most affected by this hazard, inspiring citizens to rethink their use and consumption of plastics and change their recycling habits. Angela Haseltine Pozzi is the lead artist and director of the Washed Ashore project, based in Bandon, Oregon. Pozzi has been an exhibiting artist and educator for more than 30 years and now chooses to use art as a powerful tool for community and environmental action about her true passion - the ocean.
“I came to the ocean to heal, but I found an ocean that needed healing,” remarked Angela Haseltine Pozzi, artist, educator and director of the Washed Ashore community project. “Like many people, I walked with blinders on, past the garbage, wanting to only see the ocean’s beauty. When I finally stopped and really saw the debris on the beach, my heart and mind opened to the problem. The problem of plastic pollution in the ocean is huge, so the artwork had to be massive in order to get the message across. This was the birth of Washed Ashore: plastics, sea life and art.”
Pozzi and her team of community volunteers collected approximately 7,000 lbs. of trash from 20 miles of beaches along the Oregon coast to make the sculptures. Through community art workshops at Pozzi’s Artula Institute, citizens young and old are taught how to clean and sort the bits and pieces of plastic caps, bottles, netting, flip flops and other trash that make up the “art supplies.” They then assemble the ocean trash into shapes and configurations that are incorporated into the gigantic sculptures. Sadly, there is a never-ending source of art supplies for future sculptures, but someday, The Marine Mammal Center and Pozzi hope that will change.
Facts about trash:
Americans use approximately 1 billion disposable shopping bags, creating 300,000 tons of landfill waste each year. (Clean Air Council. (2009, May). Why Plastic Bag Fees Work.)
The average American produces about 4.4 lbs. of garbage a day, or a total of 29 lbs. per week and 1,600 lbs. a year. (Environmental Protection Agency. (2009). http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw2009-fs.pdf)
Every year, Americans throw away enough paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons to circle the equator 300 times. (Wills, A. (2010, June 21). Recycling To-Go Plastics., from http://earth911.com/news/2010/06/21/recycling-to-go-plastics)
Rethink your consumer purchases. Reduce the amount of waste you produce. Reuse your own water bottle, coffee mug, silverware and bags. Recycle all aluminum, glass, paper and plastic products. Reinvent trash by making it into art or functional items. Refuse single‐use plastics -- buy in bulk and bring your own containers.
Event Calendar Details:
- Washed Ashore at The Marine Mammal Center June 25 – October 15, 2011. Free admission
- Ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony by invite June 25, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
- Family fun day on June 25 begins at 10 a.m. with FREE tours available every 30 minutes. Enjoy ocean-themed games, book signing, and documentary film screening: Dog that Runs in Rough Water, a film about the plight of Hawaiian monk seals by Mary Pillar.
- Details about Washed Ashore and ocean trash: www.MarineMammalCenterArt.org
About The Marine Mammal Center:
The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit veterinary hospital, research and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals - primarily elephant seals, harbor seals and California sea lions - and to the study of their health. Since 1975, the Center has been headquartered in the Marin Headlands, within the Golden Gate National Parks and has rescued and treated more than 16,500 marine mammals. The Center’s newly rebuilt headquarters in Sausalito is open to the public daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is FREE. For more information and to sign up for the Center’s eNewsletter, go to: www.MarineMammalCenter.org
About the Washed Ashore community project:
The Washed Ashore community project began in January 2010 with the goal of educating and creating awareness about marine debris and plastic pollution through art. The Artula Institute, founded by artist and educator Angela Haseltine Pozzi, has brought hundreds of community members together to clean up thousands of pounds of ocean trash from Oregon beaches and construct giant sculptures of the marine creatures most affected by plastic pollution. More at www.washedashore.org and www.artula.org.
The Marine Mammal Center thanks all of the sponsors who have helped bring Washed Ashore to the Marin Headlands including title sponsors: PG&E, Wells Fargo, & San Francisco Magazine.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6765808&lang=en