Can’t You Sea: Ocean Plastic Artifacts opens at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach on Sat. June 15 and will be on display through Sept. 15. Just a two hour jaunt up the coast, the museum will hold programs and events associated with the exhibition throughout the summer.
As always, conversations around plastics can’t come soon enough. As the museum points out, the ocean contains about 150 million tons of plastic, with an additional eight million tons added annually. This exhibition hopes we can cut down on those numbers.
Can’t You Sea is created by six artists/activists who utilize discarded plastic as a medium — and as a subject matter:
Los Angeles-based artist Dianna Cohen is the CEO and co-founder of Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) and uses plastic bags as the primary material in her work.
Alejandro Duran arranges plastic debris he finds into colorful, fantastical landscapes, and takes photographs of his creations.
Sayaka Ganz works in what she describes as 3D impressionism, using reclaimed plastic objects to create fluid marine sculptures.
Creator of the Drifters Project, Pam Longobardi, has cleaned plastic on beaches all over the world, removing thousands of pounds of material and re-situating it; her media ranges from painting to photography to sculpture.
Multi-media artist Aurora Robson is known for her abstract cultural work made from plastic intercepted from waste. She also founded Project Vortex, an international collective of artists, designers, and architects, who work with plastic debris to inspire others to rethink how we use waste.
S.C. native Kirkland Smith creates large-scale assemblages with post-consumer materials.
What better setting for an exhibition like this than a museum located near the ocean, the very place so much of this plastic ends up?
In addition to the exhibition itself, the museum hosts a number of events, including the Planet or Plastic lecture series. Charleston folks will want to head to the museum on July 24 to hear from Dana Beach, founder of the Coastal Conservation League and author of the recently released book, A Wholly Admirable Thing.
Additional lecture speakers include Beth Terry (author of Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too) and director/producer Linda Booker, discussing her independent film, Straws.
Check out the full lineup of events online at myrtlebeachartmuseum.org.