'Washed Ashore' Proves that One Person's Beach Trash is Another's Art

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An example of the art produced by the Washed Ashore project (http://washedashore.org/)

A new kind of art exhibit is coming to the San Francisco Zoo that doesn't concentrate on the artists or even the work being displayed but on the materials themselves.

Washed Ashore, the zoo's newest temporary exhibit, features giant, eye-grabbing sculptures of gigantic sea creatures that have been made completely from trash -- mostly plastic debris -- that was found along shorelines across the nation. The pieces themselves result from community members coming together at their local beaches, collecting as much debris as possible and then bringing it all back to turn into works of art.

The project is funded by The Artula Institute for Arts & Environmental Education, which works to spread awareness of environmental issues through the arts.

“We’re thrilled that the Zoo is bringing this important art and educational message about ocean pollution to a wide audience in the Bay Area,” said Angela Haseltine Pozzi, lead artist and Executive Director of the Oregon-based Washed Ashore Project.

Unique to the zoo's exhibition will be the exclusive premiere of “Buoy, Beat ‘n Bop,” a series of musical sculptures all made from debris collected from beaches along the Pacific Ocean. The brand new addition to project-curated exhibit includes a 10-foot long Instrumental eel, musical seaweed, a 4-foot-tall swaying anemone chime, a colony of 12 sea jelly bells, a Styrofoam reef drum set, and even a 14-foot wide musical sea star.


The San Francisco Zoo exhibit opens to the public on Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 10 a.m., following a members-only preview event. For times and other information, visit sfzoo.org.

To learn more, watch Oregon Public Media’s profile piece on Pozzi, the creative genius behind Washed Ashore, below: