One Water three years later

I’m excited to share this article from Amber Smith, Education Program Manager at LOTT’s WET Science Center, about One Water: The Infinite Journey. As we gear up to present a Plankton Painting and Science workshop this week, it’s fun to look back on this past collaboration and hear Amber’s perspective on the project. One Water is installed  at the WET Science Center, where its story is shared as part of their education programs.

Thank you Amber!


What comes to mind when you think of a wastewater treatment plant? I would bet it’s not a LEED Platinum rated building housing a science center and award-winning education programs. Continue reading “One Water three years later”

One Water: The Infinite Journey


This spring, I partnered with LOTT Clean Water Alliance to create an engaging and educational art piece about water for the WET Science Center. I teamed up with LOTT and more than 1,200 Thurston County students and adults to create the new piece titled “One Water – The Infinite Journey” that debuted as part of Spring Arts Walk on April 22 at LOTT’s WET Science Center. The result of this project is not just an art installation; it is a story of water. Continue reading “One Water: The Infinite Journey”

Project Wetlands

Project Wetlands

Located in the wetlands exhibit area at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, this installation creates the illusion of being inside of a wetland while interpreting the important function of wetlands and the necessity to limit the use of plastic bottles. Visitors are immersed in this beautiful and solution-based piece in a setting where they can view and connect to the animals that are affected by this issue. The experience leaves them more open to taking tangible action to conserve wetlands and reduce their use of plastic bottles.

Dimensions: 10’X6’X12’

Medium: Upcycled plastic bottles, dyed water, steel rod.

Installation Date: August 2015

Collaborators: Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and park visitors.


Project Wetlands Close

Project Wetlands

Puget Sound Multi-Porpoise Project

Art installation_9

As part of my Artist Residency at Sherman Elementary School, in Tacoma, we created this Student Collaborative Art Project. During the project, students created hundreds of shimmering Pacific herring from up-cycled Capri-sun pouches. The school of herring is suspended in the shape of two harbor porpoises. 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.

Porpoises Close

The Unseen Spiral


This Leatherback Sea Turtle was commissioned by the Oregon Country Fair (OCF), summer 2015. It was a collaboration between myself, Annie Douglas, and many amazing volunteers! The intention of the piece was to shed light on some of the problem materials at OCF. The shell of the turtle is made from Asceptic containers (soy milk and the like), other upcycled materials, and bamboo. Inside the turtle is a representation of the Pacific Gyre, now known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Leatherback Sea Turtles’ existence is threatened by all of the plastic in the ocean. They and countless other marine animals die from ingesting plastics each year. OCF is situated on the Long John River, which feeds into the Pacific Ocean. The piece connects how what we do on land ultimately affects the oceans, and the entire world. One of my favorite moments at the fair was when a five year old boy told me how leatherbacks favorite food is jellyfish and that plastic bags floating in the water look just like jellies, and so the sea turtles eat them by mistake, and how awful that is. He was spot on. Listen to our children! They know what’s important!



Rise Above Plastics: The Butterfly Effect

D8E0588As part of their work for Thurston County, Carrie Ziegler and Jennifer Johnson teamed up in 2014 to create a unique art piece that educates about the waste and health concerns related to plastics. With the help of more than 600 Thurston County students, they created the large-scale art piece titled “Rise Above Plastics: The Butterfly Effect.” The public debut of the piece was at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, in Olympia, WA, from April 25 –  August 5.

Inspiration on the Wings of a Butterfly:

Ziegler noted that the inspiration for the piece and its title comes from The Butterfly Effect theory, which states that a small localized change in a complex system—like the beating of a butterfly’s wings—can have large, even spectacular effects elsewhere.

The piece uses hundreds of up-cycled plastic “butterflies” to form a person held inside a large chrysalis, with a swarm of butterflies emerging from the heart. “The intent is to show visually how each one of us makes choices every day that affect our health and our environment,”

The interaction with students went far beyond creating the components of the art piece. Students learned about important choices such as using glass or stainless steel water bottles, taking re-usable bags shopping, and heating food in non-plastic containers. Each lesson emphasized individual actions the students can take in their lives that create a “butterfly effect” of positive change in the world.



The Plastic Whale Project

The Plastic Whale is a 32-foot long gray whale made of plastic bags and other plastic trash. It was created during the spring of 2013 by over 900 youth and adults in Thurston County as part of an education and outreach project about plastic bags. The project engages the public in learning about plastics in our environment in a creative way. They learn about options to reduce the use of plastic bags in our county. Continue reading “The Plastic Whale Project”