Sunday, April 14, 2013

POP's art show, non-profit social media, and an unusual ocean pollution solution are on the move

Monteleone's conceptual art "What goes around, comes around"
As the human population begins to make the necessary connections that plastic is interfering with the natural world, more and more people are climbing on board to help educate, motivate, and create solutions to this growing problem.  Why? Because we are problem solvers as much as we are problem creators and that is what separates us from the natural world.  How is The Plastic Ocean Project (POP) making these connections? Through our traveling art show "What Goes Around, Comes Around," by launching our new logo, website and Facebook page, and by sharing ideas like 19-year-old, Boyan Slat, who is working on an invention for possible ocean cleanup.

Much of our U.S. populous is in landlocked areas and do not associate themselves with the problem of plastic ocean debris. Why would they when they are 100s of miles away from the ocean's edge?  But some people in these regions are making the connection that all rivers lead to oceans and that their plastics end up there from runoff.  They understand that we are all contributing to the problem and is why this art show has been  invited inland.   Last month, the POP's art show was at Guilford CollegeGreensboro, NC.  Currently, it is in landlocked Cortland, NY where people from Central NY will have the opportunity to see the plastics that were plucked from the open-ocean and from remote ocean islands thousands of miles away from the mainland.  The exhibit opened 4.4.13 with an open reception at 9 Main Street, Cortland NY at 7pm. Bonnie Monteleone will share her experiences and findings through art.  And next month it will be at 901 Pollock Street Gallery, New Bern on display with "The Gathering."  Our goal is to have it on exhibit at various locations across the U.S. until it reaches California.  (Anyone interested in having the display in their area can contact Bonnie Monteleone at

Wiggs and Jane Horner
Jane Horner with bottle installation

Another good example of people connecting people is in New Bern - fabulous river town in North Carolina. What started in Blake Wiggs' high school environmental class making art out of plastic bottles spread like gossip to the rest of the community.  The conceptual art, fittingly titled "The Gathering" is in collaboration with artist Jane Horner.  It consists of 1,500 beverage bottles to represent the number of beverage bottles used every SECOND in the US.  The group started meeting on Saturdays in order to finish this project by May 11th for the community Artwalk Festival.  Parents, who were dropping off there children began bringing their scissors, then more and more people from the community showed up to help.  It is a microcosm of the dialog spreading globally about plastic pollution and through art, much like Picasso's art against war - The Banality of Evil, it speaks volumes without saying a word.

Slat's Array prototype
On the social media front, Diana Dehms, Martha Lyons,  Kellie Johansen and Bonnie Monteleone have been teaming up to inspire the masses to join forces with the Plastic Ocean Project, Inc. and be the forerunners in freeing the oceans from the plastic menace.  At the helm is rear Admiral Leedert "Len" Hering, Sr. (U.S. Navy retired) whose conviction is, "If we can go to the moon, we can cleanup the oceans for the next generations."  It will take governments, military leaders, students, innovators, educators, non-profits, and fishermen working together to at least try.  Boyan Slat is one such inventor who designed the Array that scours the surface of the ocean removing plastic fragments.  He has come under scrutiny from other organizations for some of his overarching expectations on a device that hasn't seen the ocean yet and though some of the backlash is right on target, we support anyone putting forth the effort to try.  As the saying goes, "Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it."  Efforts should be made not just from reducing our use of plastic and stopping it from getting out to sea via runoff, but POP goes one step further in supporting the efforts of removing as much as plastic as possible that is already out there.