Lincoln City Cultural Center staff hosted tours of the Washed Ashore exhibit for K-12 students throughout February and through March 13, when the exhibit closes. Director of Visual Arts Krista Eddy has designed a great piece and process through which traveling classes can contribute.
Where possible, students assemble the components of a marine debris sculpture that will be placed permanently on the grounds of the cultural center.
Eddy said tours of the Washed Ashore exhibit and an art experience have been offered to all students at Taft Elementary School so far for grades 3-6 and are now happening for students of Oceanlake Elementary School from K-2.
The Lincoln City Cultural Center also hosted a few alternative schools for this tour, including Newport Outdoor School, St. James Santiago School and Lincoln City Christian School, Eddy added. Students from Taft High School also participate by collecting plastic and making “kebabs” for the project.
“Students visiting the exhibit were very interested in ‘What’s Failing?’ “they identified elements that are part of the sculptures and asked great questions,” Eddy said.
Priscilla the parrotfish, Flash the blue marlin and Gertrude the penguin lure visitors to the lawn of the Lincoln City Cultural Center. The popular exhibition was installed in October.
“The tour includes all of the Washed Ashore sculptures inside and out and a thoughtful discussion about plastic pollution in our oceans,” Eddy said.
Eddy said that as students travel through different parts of the Washed Ashore tour, they can take part in two different art experiences. Older students are given supplies and instructions for the jellyfish-watching drawings hung in the auditorium with oil pastels. Each student can make a “kebab,” which will be two giant starfish that will become a permanent outdoor public art sculpture at the cultural center.
“This collaborative sculpture by Tidepool Rock is a very special part of our programming right now because our wish is to involve most children in North County so that when they walk past the center they can say ‘I have helped do this “for decades to come,” Eddy said.
The non-profit Washed Ashore project was founded in 2010 by artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi, using debris she collected from the beaches of Bandon. The project illustrates the problem of plastic pollution in a creative and engaging way to get people thinking about the issue, Eddy said.
“The sculptures are made entirely of beach debris collected from 300 miles of Oregon beaches and are assembled in a way that invites the viewer to ‘find’ objects and reflect on why those objects were washed up on our beaches,” Eddy said.
Eddy said it was an impactful experience for viewers and students because most people don’t realize the extent and seriousness of this problem.
“Art is a powerful tool for community and environmental action and we hope students will feel like they can be part of the solution by thinking about plastic consumption in their lives and that the ocean and all our neighbors need our help,” Eddy said.
This educational opportunity was made possible by a grant from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, as well as general exhibit sponsors, the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Oregon Coast Visitors Association, Ford Family Foundation, the Roundhouse Foundation, the Oneatta Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, Explore Lincoln City, North Lincoln Sanitary Service and The Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve Collaborative.
The Lincoln City Cultural Center invites the public to come to the cultural center from 3 to 5 p.m. Fridays, February 25 through March 11, for a workshop open to anyone interested in helping make the new Tidepool Rock sculpture. The sculpture is made with non-recyclable plastic waste and beach debris and will be completed this summer for permanent display at the future Lincoln City Cultural Plaza on the grounds of the cultural center. This is the style of the Washed Ashore sculptures which have been on display at the center since October but which will remain after the end of the exhibition.