It’s a seahorse of a different color at the Shedd Aquarium. Visitors to the Waters of the World exhibit, which showcases the vast variety of sea life from all different regions of the world will now find themselves face to face with Stella, a 13-foot tall, 1600 pound aquatic friend made entirely out of garbage collected from the ocean. She’s plasticine, colorful and comes with a pointed message: we’re trashing the ocean.
Stella the Seahorse is just one part of an exhibit called Washed Ashore that the Shedd has planned for early this Fall. Beginning September 23rd, Ashore will showcase more massive sea creatures- from a 12-foot shark and 16-foot parrotfish to an 8-foot wide octopus, all constructed by artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi and her volunteers. Each vibrant sculpture is created entirely with marine debris – flip-flops, soda bottles, brooms, toothbrushes and an amazing array of plastics.
The message, of course? One of the biggest threats to the ocean is us, and our trash. 1600 pounds of garbage makes a wonderful sculpture, in this case, but it also represents a problem that can’t easily be reversed or solved, and should be a call to action to think about what we use and how we dispose of it. This is echoed in the Shedd Aquarium’s recent initiative to “Shedd the Straw.”
Washed Ashore, which is scheduled to open in full on September 23rd, will be in house for a year, and is a beautiful addition to the museum’s vast array of aquatic wonders. As an additional perk, seeing the exhibit will only cost you the price of admission. Take a look at the beautiful art and think a little about how to preserve the beautiful sea life it represents. You can visit Stella now though, and get your feet wet for the exhibit to come. For more information on Washed Ashore or to get tickets for the Shedd Aquarium, click here.