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Monster critters Washed Ashore at the Lincoln City Cultural Center

Washed Ashore Jellyfish
A bloom of jellies illuminated the dark ceiling of the Lincoln Cultural Center as a major installation of the Washed Ashore Project, dream child of conceptual artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi.

Rain or shine, this is going to be a great weekend in Lincoln City because the famous Washed Ashore critters have landed inside and out of the Lincoln City Cultural Center.

Imagine a vast, dark ballroom ceiling illuminated by a ten-foot long Leo Jellyfish and a “bloom” of small jellies floating above you, making it seem like you are at the bottom of the sea looking up.

Washed Ashore Otter
Giacometti the River Otter is constructed entirely of marine debris washed up on Bandon Beach, Oregon.

A huge Giacometti the River Otter joins you in your wandering. Out on the lawn, Flash the Blue Marlin jumps high in the air toward the nearby sea. Priscilla the Parrot Fish is 16 feet long and nine feet tall. There are lots of photo ops and plenty of room for the kiddos to run around Chompers the Shark and Stanley the Sturgeon.

Washed Ashore Marlin
Sandy Brown Jensen
Flash the Blue Marlin is a dramatic sculpture of the Washed Ashore Project.

But this is not fun without a purpose. There are teachable moments for all of us when we get up close to each sculpture and realize all of the artworks are made from ocean garbage, plastic marine debris found mostly on Bandon Beach. You can spot plastic cups that have washed up from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Lost snorkel equipment and bits and bobs of plastic pollution go into the construction of each animal.

Washed Ashore Detail
Sandy Brown Jensen
Detail of the plastic debris used to construct the washed Ashore creatures.

This is the Washed Ashore project founded in 2010 by conceptual artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi. Since 2010, over 10,000 volunteers have participated in the Washed Ashore project, helping Angela and her team create more than 80 sculptures using more than 38,000 pounds of junk picked up on the beach. This exhibit includes all kinds of interesting language to teach about ocean stewardship.

Washed Ashore
Sandy Brown Jensen

The exhibit will be in Lincoln City through March, but this coming weekend is the Grand Opening with a variety of special events, including a free screening of the Washed Away film both Saturday and Sunday. The artist will give a “Get Inspired” presentation Saturday night at 6:00 pm, and that is a ticketed event at lincolncityculturalcenter.org

As a viewer, you will be lured to look more closely at the beauty and craftsmanship of the critters, but if you’re like me, you’ll be shocked and motivated to learn more about the issue of plastic pollution on our beautiful, no longer pristine beaches.

This is Sandy Brown Jensen for KLCC.

Sandy Brown Jensen has an MFA in Poetry and is a retired writing instructor from Lane Community College. She is an artist and a photographer with a lifetime interest in looking at and talking about art. Sandy hosts KLCC's long-running arts review program Viz City.
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