'Washed Ashore' highlights pollution problem


Mary Johnson, community outreach director with WashedAshore.org, cleans Rufus the triggerfish in preparation for the opening day of "Washed Ashore" at Reiman Gardens. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

Oregon artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi was disturbed by the large amounts of plastic that littered the Pacific coast as she walked along its beaches. She felt compelled to act and the result is "Washed Ashore," an exhibition featuring larger-than-life, garbage-to-art sculptures of marine life created from plastic debris.

Ten sculptures from the 17-piece "Washed Ashore" collection will be on display at Reiman Gardens April 29 through Oct. 31. Some of the pieces chosen for this exhibition -- the first at a public garden -- include Blue Marlin, Large Jellyfish, American Sea Star and Trigger Fish. Two sculptures will reside inside the gardens' facility, while the rest will dot the outdoor landscape. Many of the pieces exceed 10 feet in height and length.

"We are always trying to do new and innovative things at Reiman Gardens, which is why we reached out to 'Washed Ashore' about hosting their exhibit," said Maria Teply, communications coordinator at Reiman Gardens.

Reiman Gardens is planning several educational programs in conjunction with the exhibit to help individuals understand the plastic pollution problem in the United States. A few of those workshops, all at Reiman Gardens, are listed below. Additional events are online.

  • Treasure from Trash drop-in, April 29 (10 a.m.-noon). All are invited to make mini sculptures from trash. Bring clean, dry plastic trash for use in the artwork. Extra materials, tools and assistance will be provided. An adult must accompany all youth. Cost is price of admission (free for members, ISU students).
  • Ground to Ground: Reducing Waste, May 15 (6-8 p.m.). Learn how to cut down on kitchen and household waste with certified master herbalist Gayle Curtis. Also, sample a zero-waste salad, discover how to regrow food from scraps, and learn about preserving and composting. Registration with prepayment is required by May 11. Cost is $20 ($16 for members, $13.60 for ISU students)
  • Water from the Ground Up, May 20 (10 a.m.-noon). Join Morrill Professor of geological and atmospheric sciences Cinzia Cervato to learn where the water we drink comes from, how the ground "stores" water and how it's retrieved, and how daily activities -- like mowing the lawn or riding in a car -- affect water. Recommended for children ages 8 to 16. Preregistration and prepayment is required by May 18. Cost is $12.50 ($10 for members, $8 for ISU students).

Admission to Reiman Gardens is $8 ($4 for kids ages 4 to 17; free for kids 3 and under).