Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Taking our mission to heART.

From litter to art....

From Plastics to art- Plastic Ocean Project members are passionate about cleaning the environment, and re-using some of those materials to make art that raises awareness and tells a story.
Founder of POP, Bonnie Monteleone collected plastics from nearly 10,000 nautical miles in three oceans and used them to create a beautiful work of art inspired by Katsushika Hokusai's, famous wave painting, "The Great Wave of Kanazawa".  Bonnie's exhibit is used around the country to bring awareness to the epidemic of plastics in our oceans.  Titled, "What Goes Around, Comes Around", this massive collection of canvas brings it's viewers to the center of the issue as they stare at the twenty five foot exhibit adorned with plastic bits and pieces Monteleone found during her research in four of the five gyres.  Five bins of plastics and trash pulled from the ocean samples allow viewers to see hands on what is used in the art work and what is being collected from our oceans.  
From The Cameron Art Museum, in Wilmington, NC to the Aquarium of the Pacific in California, and many places in between, the installation has traveled over 4,700 miles, and has been on view in many locations across the country.  Please visit Plastic Ocean Project website for more information. 

Bonnie Monteleone with her exhibit "What Goes Around, Come Around"
 at the UNCW Center for Marine Science, April 2016

Many of the Plastic Ocean Project volunteers are passionate about art and raising awareness.  Local artist, Kim Beller, Secretary and volunteer for POP,  designed art for the "Ocean Friendly Establishment" program started by Ginger Taylor of Wrightsville Beach Keep it Clean.  Ginger teamed up with POP and Surfrider Cape Fear Chapter to launch this program that helps reduce the use of single use plastic straws among restaurants.  Restaurant owners continue to find this program helpful, as the only requirement is to pass out a straw only if customers request it.  The latest restaurant to sign up is "Crabby Mikes" in Surf City, NC and is the first restaurant in the Topsail area to become an "Ocean Friendly Establishment".   Each restaurant who signs up receives a framed copy of the  hand painted certificate to hang in their establishment.  Beller was recently featured in Wilma Magazine  for this work.

Doug and Moe receiving the "Ocean Friendly Establishment" certificate.

Arisa Yoon, UNCW POP

UNCW Plastic Ocean Project members are also getting very artsy with their use of plastic trash they collect at the many cleanups they organize.  Their first annual Art Gala, "Plastic to Art", was held at EXPO 216 in downtown Wilmington, on Earth Day.  Arisa Yoon, UNCW POP member and Jared Sales, Event Manager of EXPO 216,  along with the UNCW POP members, organized this event to raise awareness and as a fundraiser for UNCW POP.  The group collected close to $1000.00 selling art they made using plastics from the cleanups they organize.  

"Later Doesn't Exist" by Catherine Hunt and Ashlyn Keidel

Coral Reef, by Katy Nickel

Jared Sales and Arisa Yoon with a Whale Sculpture 
created by Bonnie Monteleone and Tricia Monteleone

Terri Misch, of Wilmington, NC,  is another example of an artist working to raise awareness.  She will be leaving for Puerto Rico soon and this is what she says about her mission.......


"My Personal Journey of Evolution in Creative Endeavors as it Relates to Water and Aesthetics in an
Environmentally Sound Manner .

Location: Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

I am about to embark on a great adventure. I am leaving all manner of familiar and toxic means of expressing the art that takes place in my mind at home in Wilmington, North Carolina as I travel to Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. Acrylics, acetone, paint pens and enamel, glue sticks and spray paint, will sit this endeavor out. Canvases forlorn and noxious fumes will soon be forgotten as I attempt to portray the island, the ocean, and sea life in a natural and environmentally sound way.

Since I have yet to discover what materials will be available, I am not exactly sure what direction my art will take. I am hoping to utilize found, reclaimed, and natural materials. I aim to bypass the consumption of any purchased supplies that are not biodegradable, experimenting with natural pigments, fiber art, and sculpture, with an open-minded approach to new forms of expression. I will incorporate plastic pollution in my art to highlight this issue, in hopes that I will find a personal solution in my quest of capturing the essence of our blue planet.

I hope that this transformative period will bring beauty to others and further awareness of the plight of our oceans when I return to the Carolina coast in the fall."

We will stay in touch with Terri as she travels and will share photos with you when she returns!


EARTH day is EVERY day!!  What can you do?  Organize a cleanup wherever you are.  Make art from some of the pieces of plastics you find.  Skip the straw.  Say no to single use.  Use re-usable bags when shopping.  Buy from the bulk section and take your own jars.  Talk to your friends about what you are doing.  All choices you make, big or small have an impact. 

“Our decisions, our actions will shape everything that follows” Dr Sylvia Earle


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  2. I love the quote “Our decisions, our actions will shape everything that follows” from Dr Sylvia Earle. It also pairs well with one of my favorites "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

  3. It would be great to read more concerning that blog..!Thank you for posting this blog.

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  5. Terri misch, your are so beautiful on the outside but so ugly on the inside. This woman is full of dreams, and flamboyant smiles but she has a darker side if you dare cross it. She isnt the sweet innocent sweetheart everybody thinks she is. The problem is she has hurt me and im not going to let her get away with it. I fell in love with this young lady and i dont care how much time has past, what she did to me was wrong. I am hurt for the rest of my life.

  6. You are a diagrace, wheres all the money coming from to go on vacations???? Maybe everbody should know the truth

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