Carrie Ziegler
Artist, Environmental Educator, Community Engagement Specialist

Awards and Residencies

Washington State Public Artist Roster, Current
Artist in Residence, Thurston County Food Bank, Current
Artist in Residence,
Avanti High School, 2017
Sustainability Award, Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association, 2016
Grant Recipient,
City of Olympia, PBIA, 2016 Collective Visions Mural Project
Grant Recipient,
Freas Foundation, 2016 Art Installation
Teaching Artist Residency,
Sherman Elementary, Tacoma, WA, 2015
Grant Recipient, Freas Foundation, 2015 Mural Project
Nature Consortium Teaching Artist Roster, Seattle, WA, 2014-2016
Washington State Public Artist Roster, 2013-2015
Societal Impact Award, Washington State Recycling Association, 2014

Current Work

Waste Less Food Art and Action Project. In collaboration with the Thurston County Food Bank, we are designing an Art and Action Project focused on Wasting Less Food as a solution to hunger in our communities. It will involve over 1,000 people and culminate in a collaborative art installation at the new food bank in Lacey, WA.

Upcoming Work

Resolve to Evolve! A Climate Art and Action Project that proposes nothing less than an entire cultural shift.

Participatory Art and Action Projects

The Pollinator Project, 2017, Avanti High School, Olympia WA
7’X7”X4’ collaborative sculpture. This whimsical and permanent Ferro cement sculpture houses mason bee habitat. Designed collaboratively with Avanti HS students as part of education and action around the importance of pollinators. Incorporated into student designed pollinator garden.

One Water: The Infinite Journey, Spring 2016, LOTT WET Science Center, Olympia, WA
14’X8’X1′ collaborative art installation. Suspended aluminum water drops and salmon form a 3-dimensional, pointillism mosaic of intersecting light and motion. Individually sculpted by hundreds of youth and adults, the water drops and salmon tell a story of water, how it is constantly recycled and infinitely precious.

Confluence, Spring 2016, The Estuarium Science Center, Olympia, WA
24’X8’X3′ collaborative art installation. With the suspension of hundreds of unique ‘waves’ Confluence creates a visual representation of the melding of salt and fresh water in an estuary.

Project Wetlands, Summer 2015, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Eatonville, WA
This temporary installations creates the illusion of being inside of a wetland while interpreting the function of wetlands and their importance of reducing our use of plastic bottles.

Puget Sound Multi-Porpoise Project, Spring 2015, Sherman Elementary School, Tacoma, WA
12’X5’X4’ collaborative art installation. Schools of herring are suspended in the shape of two harbor porpoises. Students created hundreds of shimmering Pacific herring from up-cycled Capri-sun pouches. Stabilized by student created clay shells that are native to the region, this artwork looks closely at the relationship of plastics and how we impact the Earth.

Bioaccumulation, Spring 2015, Foss Waterway Seaport, Tacoma, WA
7’X8’X3’ collaborative art installation. Worked with kindergarteners to create ocean life out of up-cycled plastic trash. Installation shows the bioaccumulation of plastics in the food web.

The Strand We Weave, Spring 2015, Foss Waterway Seaport, Tacoma, WA
15’X12’X1’ collaborative art installation. Led students in creation of a ‘web of life’ art installation that looks at the impacts of plastics on our oceans and the interdependency of life.

The Plastic Whale Project, Spring 2013, Traveling Exhibit, Olympia, WA
32-foot long gray whale made of plastic bags and other plastic trash, created by over 900 youth and adults in Thurston County as part of an education and outreach project about the impacts of plastic bags. The project engages the public in learning about plastics in our environment in a creative way and how to reduce the use of plastic bags. It has traveled extensively in the Pacific Northwest and has been viewed by over 1.5 million people, due to its appearance on the A&E television show, Shipping Wars.
Watch the film at

Rise Above Plastic: The Butterfly Effect, Spring 2014,Thurston County Juvenile Court Building, Olympia, WA
14’X9’X6’ collaborative art installation. Worked with 700 youth in Thurston County, teaching them more about the effects of plastics on our environment and our bodies. As part of the workshops, people made butterflies out of trash. Hundreds of these butterflies form the image of a person, emerging from a chrysalis, with butterflies of change flying from the heart. Permanently on display at Thurston County Family and Juvenile Court.

The Unseen Spiral: Trashing our Turtles, Summer 2014, Veneta, OR
The Unseen Spiral is a 15-foot sea turtle made of reclaimed materials and bamboo. It highlighted the waste reduction efforts, and problem materials of the Oregon Country Fair. The Turtle made its debut at this year’s Country Fair and will continue to be shown at the Fair for years to come.


Participatory Mural Projects

Plankton Mural, Summer 2017, Olympia WA
1,000 square feet – This educational community mural features larger than life plankton local to the Puget Sound. It highlights calcium-based plankton, such as oyster larvae, that are at risk due to ocean acidification. With its focus on ocean acidification, this project is the first phase of the upcoming climate change Art and Action Project.

Estuarium Mural, Summer 2015 and 2016, Olympia, WA
Phase 1 – 900 square feet: Designed, painted, and facilitated volunteers for this community mural that highlights the importance of estuaries and invites the public to visit the Estuarium.
Phase 2 – 900 square feet: Mentored 5 high school girls in all aspects of painting a mural, from design to completion.

Sunflowers, Summer 2012, Olympia, WA
250 square feet – Designed, painted, and facilitated volunteers for this community mural.

Welcome Mural, Summer 2012, Olympia, WA
500 square feet –Designed, painted, and facilitated volunteers for this community mural.

Woodland Trail Community Mural Project, Summer 2010, Olympia, WA
6,000 square feet – Designed, painted, and facilitated volunteers for this local community project that brought beauty to an industrial area along a well-loved bike path.

Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project, Summer 2008, Olympia, WA
3,600 square feet – Designed and painted Phase 1 of this international and local community project that engaged hundreds of individual artists and volunteers.

Moxlie Creek Storm Drain Mural Project, Spring 2006, Olympia, WA
200 square feet – Facilitated design and painting by youth volunteers as part of this community education and youth empowerment project

Green Congress Murals, Spring 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, Olympia, WA
Worked with groups of students to create murals on paper that explore environmental questions relevant to their lives.

Select Solo Sculpture Exhibitions

Rise Above Plastics: The Butterfly Effect
WA Center for the Performing Arts, Olympia, WA, April – August, 2014
Thurston County Family and Juvenile Court, Olympia, WA, December 2014, Permanent

The Plastic Whale Project
Imagine! Children´s Museum, Everett, WA, November 1 – 21, 2014
Montana Museum of Art and Culture, Missoula, MT, October 17, 2013
Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Olympia, WA, May 9 – June 21, 2013

The Unseen Spiral: Trashing our Turtles, OCF, Veneta, OR, Summer 2014

Redefining Peace, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, Spring 2011

Select other Mural Projects

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge Educational Mural, Spring 2013, Olympia, WA
200 square feet – Designed and painted to connect the interior education center to the natural world outside.

Club de Surf Projecto Mural (Surf Club Mural Project), Winter, 2012, Nicaragua
300 square feet – Codesigned and painted this inernational mural at a surf club in a rural village in Nicaragua. The mural inspires local youth to care for the beach environment.

Into the Sound, Summer 2011, Olympia, WA
Exterior Mural on a Bench – Designed and painted as part of the Olympia Downtown Bench Enhancement Project, this mural beautifies and encourages community in Olympia.

Discover Aquatics Underwater Murals, Winter 2011, Olympia, WA
Interior mural covering 5 walls – Designed and painted this mural, which transformed an office space into an exciting and welcoming, kid-friendly zone.

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park Educational Murals, Winter 2005, Olympia, WA
Series of eight murals – Painted to transform the education center into an engaging and kid-friendly learning zone.


Bachelor of Arts and Science, The Evergreen State College, 2002

Environmental Education

Waste Reduction Specialist, Thurston County Solid Waste, 2010 – 2015

  • Designed, developed, and implemented a variety of educational programs for youth and adults around issues of solid waste reduction, composting, and recycling.
  • Used art as a way to inspire and engage my audience.

Recreation Program Assistant, City of Olympia, 2008 – 2009

  • Designed, developed, and implemented environmental education programs.
  • Taught book-binding and nature journaling as a way to connect to nature.
  • Co-facilitated youth in outdoor recreation activities in and around the Puget Sound.

YMCA Earth Service Corps (YESC) Coordinator, YMCA, Olympia, WA, 2006 – 2008

  • Supported YESC’s mission to empower youth, ages 13-20, to become effective, responsible global citizens by providing opportunities for environmental education and action, leadership development, and cross-cultural awareness.
    • Facilitated youth in the organization of action projects and events including the June Eco-Jam: Environmental Awareness through Art and Action – Blitz of action projects and an evening of arts and entertainment, created by and for youth.
    • Facilitated in-school and out-of-school environmental clubs.
    • Collaborated with dozens of local organizations.
  • Performed outreach to previously underserved areas of the South Sound

E3 Youth Coordinator, Environmental Education Association of WA, Olympia, WA 2006 – 08

  • Coordinated youth involvement in E3 Washington.
  • Provided logistical and technical support for EEAW and E3 WA.

Senior Naturalist, Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, Homer, AK, summer 2005

  • Designed, developed, and led educational programs for youth including:
    • Five-day intensive Junior Naturalist programs for 10 – 12 year olds.
    • Ten-week Wilderness Survival program for 8-10 year olds.
    • Two five-week Art and Nature programs for 5 – 7 year olds.
    • Orienteering and art programs for diverse groups of at-risk youth.
  • Led interpretive hikes for diverse audiences.

Naturalist, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Eatonville, WA, 2004 – 2006

  • Interpreted native flora and fauna.
  • Educated youth and adult visitors about complex environmental issues.
  • Led overnight camps – responsible for program activities, logistics, and safety.
  • Designed, developed, and taught educational activities and programs including:
    • Wolverine Program and Pygmy Rabbit Program.
  • Painted educational murals of plants and animals in education center.

Environmental Educator, Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, Olympia, WA, 2002 internship

  • Guided student groups through educational activities and outdoor hikes.
  • Designed and developed pamphlet focusing on the ethnobotany of native tree species.
    • Created educational activity using art and nature to demonstrate traditional and medicinal plant use.

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