St. Petersburg’s newest public art display comes in advance of Science Fest celebrations
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Oct. 14, 2014) – Researchers, artists and community leaders will unveil a new sculpture created from marine debris at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 15, at Poynter Park as part of a community engagement project that has converted trash into an artistic treasure with a message.
The sculpture, located on the north side of the park, will be a new attraction for visitors to the Oct. 17-18 St. Pete Science Festival. Poynter Park is located on 3rd Street South, between 8th and 11th Avenues South.
The sculpture – “Current Collections” – spans 40 feet across and reaches 30 feet into the air. Five branching steel arms will be covered with a multi-colored translucent plastic skin, made from melted bags and debris collected from area waterways by the City of St. Petersburg and volunteers in coastal cleanups. “Current Collections” represents a rotating ocean gyre or eddy. When people walk into the center, they will experience the swirling plastic as if they were under water.
Children throughout the city have had a hand in turning the trash into colorful elements for the structure throughout the summer. The public art display demonstrates a new way of looking at trash debris and plastics collected from coastal clean ups. The sculpture is an integral part of the Clean Community-Clean Coast youth and community education program, which is led by the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science, and substantially funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program’s Prevention through Education and Outreach grant/ cooperative agreement.
The goal of the Clean Community Clean Coast program is to engage youth, educators, and local organizations in the effort to address local littering problems, develop new programs and support recycling to protect the wildlife and coastal ecosystems.
Program collaborators include: the Georgia State University (GSU) Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design (with faculty and students in the Embodied Energy Studio LLC), the USF St. Petersburg College of Education (COE), USF College of Behavior and Community Sciences (CBCS), the City of St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department and Engineering Department, Keep Pinellas Beautiful (KPB), Tampa Bay Watch (TBW) and the St. Petersburg Science Festival.
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.