Turning inspiration into action: Education and advocacy events scheduled at the Washed Ashore exhibit in Lincoln City

Through March 13

LINCOLN CITY, JAN. 18, 2022 – Priscilla the Parrot Fish, Flash the Blue Marlin and Gertrude the Penguin are already the talk of the town, attracting thousands of visitors on Hwy. 101 to the west lawn of the Lincoln City Cultural Center. Now, the remarkable marine debris sculptures of Washed Ashore are inviting the public to learn more and take action to stem the tide of plastics pollution, through a series of free events in February and March.

The Cascade Head Biosphere Reserve Collaborative, SOLVE, Siletz Tribes Charitable Contribution Fund and the Driftwood Public Library have joined the community of local sponsors making the Washed Ashore experience a reality for the central coast.

At the heart of the project are the 19 works in the touring exhibit, Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea. The nonprofit 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, these engaging creatures graphically illustrate the tragedy of plastic pollution in our ocean and waterways.

In addition to Priscilla, Flash and Gertrude, the Cultural Center’s outdoor exhibit includes 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 9-foot-long Leo Jelly and a “bloom” of smaller jellies, Giacometti the River Otter and a variety of wall mosaics and informational panels. Among the favorite indoor displays is the wall of floats, ropes, plastic items and debris, all of which was collected by a single Lincoln City resident during a single month in 2021.

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. The outdoor exhibit is open from dawn to dusk daily, while the indoor portion is open from 10 am to 4 pm Thursday-Monday, and by appointment. The Washed A-Store, which sells T-shirts, sweatshirts, water bottles, re-usable silverware and posters, is open along with the indoor exhibit. Proceeds from the sale of these environmentally-friendly souvenirs supports both the Cultural Center and Washed Ashore organizations.

The exhibit is scheduled to remain in place through March 13. As part of the Washed Ashore project, the Cultural Center is coordinating the following free community education/action events:

  • Washed Ashore Field Trips with Hands-on Art Experiences, by appointment Feb. 1-March 13 – Through the support of local and regional funders, LCCC staff are leading guided tours of the Washed Ashore exhibit for students in grades K-12, and beyond. Whenever possible, students will also assemble components of a marine debris sculpture that will be permanently placed on the Cultural Center grounds. To inquire about a field trip for your group, call Krista, 541-994-9994.
  • Meet the Author: Oregon Legacy Series presents Allison Cobb, 4 pm Sunday, Feb. 13 — Allison Cobb, author of “Plastic: An Autobiography” and a writer for the Environmental Defense Fund, will speak in the auditorium. All attendees ages 12 and over must present proof of vaccination at the door. Sponsored by the Friends of the Driftwood Public Library, the D Sands Condominium Motel and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • Swimming Upstream: Addressing Plastics Pollution Through Action,” 2-5 pm Saturday, Feb. 26 — Inspired by Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea? Learn how you can make a difference at this free community event. Browse the information stations, contribute to the hands-on plastics art project and hear a range of speakers, with a new presenter every half hour (on the half hour). All attendees ages 12 and over must present proof of vaccination at the door. This event is co-sponsored by SOLVE and the LCCC.
  • “What Should Be Washing Ashore,” 11am-2pm Saturday, March 5 — As Lincoln City says farewell to the popular installation of Art to Save the Sea, join us for a look at “What Should Be Washing Ashore,” with the Cascade Head Biosphere Collaborative and partners. Learn about ocean currents and biodiversity, and explore how you as a casual beachcomber with a smartphone can help climate scientists better understand the ocean environment through the WRACK LINE Project, the latest  Coastal Climate Change + Community Art, Science, and Tradition Project. Visit 4CASTProject.org to learn more. All attendees ages 12 and over must present proof of vaccination at the door.

Admission to the exhibit and events is 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, Explore Lincoln City and North Lincoln Sanitary Service. The LCCC also received installation support from Knottworks Construction and the Inn at Spanish Head.

“We’d like to thank all the generous foundations, agencies and businesses that stepped forward last summer, as well as all the people who have donated since Washed Ashore arrived,” said Niki Price, executive director of the LCCC. “They’ve started a real community effort that we hope will have lasting impact.”

To learn more or get involved, contact LCCC’s executive director, Niki Price, at 541-994-9994 or niki@lc-cc.org. The Lincoln City Cultural Center is located at 540 NE Hwy. 101, inside the historic Delake School.

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