On September 24,2016 the Denver Zoo opened an exhibit featuring 15 beautiful sculptures of sea life- all constructed from trash found on the Pacific shoreline. “Washed Ashore- Art to Save the Sea” is a traveling exhibit that will be displayed in the Denver Zoo till January 16,2017.
6 tons of trash served as art supplies to Angela Haseltine Pozzi, the Executive Director and Lead Artist of the project. Horrified by the amount of trash in the ocean, Angela decide to take action immediately. “We are all connected to the ocean. All of the streams and rivers lead to the ocean. Right now trash is the deadliest predator in the ocean,”she said. Angela has always been an artist. She decided to use the trash to make sculptures of animals that are threatened by the plastic entering the ocean. “Just because you throw something away, doesn’t mean it’s just going to disappear,”she stated. Sea animals are mistaking the trash for food.
Although the sculptures are beautiful, she hopes it will bring feeling to people. She hopes people will take action after realizing the amount of plastic harming the animals. “The personal connection the people feel towards these animals,”she said,”will help them take action towards healing the ocean.”
Angela hopes the artwork will inspire children to be creative and problem solve. “These kids are our future. We need to educate them on what is happening and how to stop it. We need to make sure they have knowledge to think creatively and problem solve,”she remarked.
Brad Parks, the senior director of guest experience at the Denver Zoo, noted “The sculptures are awesome, beautiful, creative, and important to the Denver Zoo mission. The goal that every person will share their love and passion for the animals the zoo has.” Bringing the exhibit to the zoo will bring some changes to the habits of the zoo. At the gift shops, the zoo will no longer provide plastic bags. The zoo is working on getting water bottle refilling stations to encourage the use of refillable water bottles.The map of the sculptures will not be given in paper copies. There will be a large map at each sculpture and the main gate that people can take a picture of to follow instead.
Washed Ashore hopes every person will make a small change in their habits to use a little less plastic. If everyone does one small thing, the amount of plastic in the ocean can easily decrease. Angela hopes that when people get the knowledge, they will begin to take action.
This exhibit is definitely something you don’t want to miss. The artwork is incredible as well as the message.