Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea

Beginning Saturday, April 22, at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, the public can view and enjoy the exhibit “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.” During the grand opening weekend, there will also be many activities along this theme. Educational games will include a scavenger hunt, a matching game about the effects of trash on ocean life, and a lineup of how long it takes certain materials to break down.

The art exhibit features sculptures of various sea animals, all made of trash. Examples are Chompers the Shark, Sebastian James the Puffin, and Octavia the Octopus. All sculptures are by Angela Haseltine Pozzi, who has participated in a number of art exhibitions throughout her career. The artist notes that thousands of volunteers were involved in the “Washed Ashore” artwork, from picking up trash to sculpting. “We actually pick up the garbage off the beaches and clean it,” Pozzi explains. “I work on the heads and the detail work and the finished work.” Among her favorite sculptures is the 18-foot colorful model “Steve the Weedy Sea Dragon,” which she named after a friend who composed music for the exhibit.

“It’s a wake-up call, really,” she says, “in a way that’s fun and engaging. The reason it started was that I moved to the beach … and saw this horrific amount of plastic on the beach.” From Bandon, Oregon, Pozzi decided to clean up the plastic from the beaches and turn it into art, simultaneously educating the public about the negative effects the material has on the many ecosystems in the ocean.

“I hope it raises awareness that we do have a real issue in the oceans and we all can do something about it,” Pozzi continues. “Every one of us can do something to reduce our plastic usage. Start thinking about how we can stop using plastic bags or plastic water bottles. Ask for more innovations to happen to help solve the problems.”

By Jordan M Black

Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea

Opens April 22

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma