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Sea slop to art

By MIKE DUNHAM
Step one: Throw junk in the ocean and wait for it to wash up on a beach. Photo: Chris PallisterStep one: Throw junk in the ocean and wait for it to wash up on a beach. Photo: Chris Pallister
The Center for Alaska Coastal Studies in Homer is turning ocean-born debris into public art displays — and the public is being invited to pitch in. This spring the non-profit group contracted with Angela Haseltine-Pozzi, Executive Director of the Artula Institute for Arts and Environmental Education of Bandon, Ore. to bring what a press release described as “a large scale interactive marine debris art project” to Homer this summer.
Step 52o: Pick up trash and remove from beach. Photo: Chris Pallister.Step 52o: Pick up trash and remove from beach. Photo: Chris Pallister.
CACS’s self-described mission is “promote awareness of the local and global issues associated with marine debris.” Part of that includes marine debris cleanup projects around the south coast of Alaska. To keep the flotsam out of landfills, they attempt to turn at least some of it into art.
Step three: Sort out the litter. Photo: Melanie Dufour.Step three: Sort out the litter. Photo: Melanie Dufour.
The full project is expected to extent for at least three years, during which volunteers collect the debris, sort out pieces that might have an artistic application and then assemble sculptures that will be placed in various locations around Homer. The group has already completed a bright green and red sea anemone and is currently working on an enormous jellyfish. A total of eight to 10 large pieces are expected to be produced by the end of 2014.
Step three: Sort out the litter. Photo: Melanie Dufour.Step three: Sort out the litter. Photo: Melanie Dufour.
CACS director Melanie Dufour said the effort is a pilot project and that Haseltine-Pozzi hopes to construct more of these “Washed Ashore” installations around the United States.
Step five: Admire the art, like this sculpture of a sea anemone. Photo: Melanie Dufour.Step five: Admire the art, like this sculpture of a sea anemone. Photo: Melanie Dufour.
So how to get involved? Sorting the junk into potentially usable art supplies will place 5:30-8 p.m. Mondays and 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursdays through October. Volunteers of all ages and talents are sought. You may get asked to help with construction of one of the sculptures. CACS is located at East End Road and Kachemak Drive in Homer. More information is available by calling (907) 235-6667.

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