The Lincoln City Cultural Center has confirmed that Washed Ashore, a touring exhibit of sea life sculptures made entirely of marine debris, will bring its message of ocean stewardship to the central Oregon coast this fall. Thanks to the generosity of regional funders and foundations, a 19-piece collection of “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” will be on display at the cultural center from Oct. 23 through March 13, 2022.
The Washed Ashore project was founded in 2010 by artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi, using debris she collected from the beaches in Bandon. The sculptures have traveled all over the country, from the Shedd Aquarium and the Smithsonian Institution to the San Francisco Zoo and SeaWorld Orlando. Everywhere they go, Washed Ashore’s engaging creatures graphically illustrate the tragedy of plastic pollution in the ocean and waterways.
It’s a message with special relevance to the Lincoln City Cultural Center, just a few blocks from the beach along one of the busiest stretches of Highway 101. Admission at the cultural center exhibit will be free, thanks to funding by the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Oregon Coast Visitors Association, The Roundhouse Foundation, the Oneatta Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, the Ford Family Foundation, Explore Lincoln City and North Lincoln Sanitary Service. The LCCC is also receiving special installation assistance from Knottworks Construction of Lincoln City.
The public is invited to enjoy Priscilla the Parrot Fish (who is 16 feet long and 9 feet tall) along with Flash the Blue Marlin, Gertrude the Penguin, Chompers the Shark, Stanley the Sturgeon and the American Sea Star, arrayed on the cultural center’s west lawn. Inside the auditorium, visitors will find 10-foot long Leo Jelly and a “bloom” of smaller jellies, as well as the adorable tall Giacometti the River Otter.
All of the artwork is made from colorful marine debris — mostly plastic — found on the beach in Oregon. The work is combined with scientifically based educational signage to teach children and adults about ocean stewardship, responsible consumer habits and how “every action counts” to help save the sea.
Since 2010, more than 10,000 volunteers have participated in the Washed Ashore project, helping Pozzi and her team to create more than 80 sculptures using more than 38,000 pounds of marine debris. After serving as lead artist for more than a decade, Pozzi is passing this role to Washed Ashore veteran Steve Wright.
“The ultimate goal of a Washed Ashore exhibit is to use the power of the arts to spark change in consumer habits,” Pozzi said. “As viewers are lured to look more closely by the beauty and craftsmanship of the art, all ages are shocked and motivated to learn more about the issue of plastic pollution. The viewers themselves are then gently guided with signage to take personal action in a way they can embrace. We teach that, truly, every action counts to save the sea.”
After the public installation is complete, the cultural center team will begin working on a hands-on educational art project using marine debris and other un-recycled plastics, in coordination with teachers at Oceanlake and Taft elementary schools, Taft 7-12 and local independent schools. The goal is to provide a field trip and a curriculum-based art-making experience for every school-age child in the north Lincoln County area.
Want to help? The cultural center is looking for the following local assistance as they prepare for this unprecedented Washed Ashore exhibit:
• Volunteer docents (training provided by Washed Ashore);
• Community partners (conservation, art or civic groups to hold coordinated events);
• Additional monetary donations (in any amount).
To learn more or get involved, contact LCCC’s executive director, Niki Price, at 541-994-9994 or [email protected]. The Lincoln City Cultural Center is located at 540 NE Highway 101, inside the historic Delake School.
More about Angela Haseltine Pozzi and Washed Ashore
Find bios of Pozzi and the Washed Ashore team at https://www.washedashore.org/meet-the-washed-ashore-team/
In August 2021, Pozzi was featured as a Nautica “Wavemaker” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWz5FrWHEX4
In March 2020, she was profiled in The New York Times: https://tinyurl.com/vrp7jkf
“Angela Haseltine Pozzi is a creator of worlds, with imagination as strong as Dr. Seuss and a technique as detailed as assemblage artist Joseph Cornell.” — Victoria Blake, Visual Arts Gallery Guide.