Michelle and Divisha, a Morse Elementary School student helping at a workshop.
Michelle and Divisha, a Morse Elementary School student helping at a workshop.

People of all ages helped to make the Tapestry at workshops held on Tuesdays and Sundays at the Powder Magazine in May and June.

press to zoom
Revolutionary Snake Ensemble will bring a touch of Mardi Gras to Magazine Beach July 13, at 7 pm
Revolutionary Snake Ensemble will bring a touch of Mardi Gras to Magazine Beach July 13, at 7 pm

We'll celebrate completion of the Tapestry during Mass Audubon's Free Full Moon Festival with live music, nature science and art activities, and BYO picnics. Wednesday, July 13, 6 to 8 pm. photo: Michael Harris

press to zoom
Workshop participants
Workshop participants

A mother and son working together on the Tapestry. photo: Cecily Miller

press to zoom
Junee Manandhar, Cambridge Rindge & Latin, working on the Tapestry.
Junee Manandhar, Cambridge Rindge & Latin, working on the Tapestry.

Junee was one of a group of CRLS students in a science club that adopted the Tapestry Project. They created QR code links to accompany the finished artwork that will inform people about the dangers of plastic pollution.

press to zoom
Powder Magazine
Powder Magazine

The historic 1818 Powder Magazine building has been restored and is fully ADA accessible. Mass Audubon has signed a five year contract to establish it's newest urban nature center, bringing exciting new programming to Magazine Beach Park.

press to zoom
Flotsam, 2021
Flotsam, 2021

This photo gives a sense of scale of Flotsam as installed in Michelle Lougee's exhibition at the Boston Sculptor's Gallery in 2021.

press to zoom

IN CAMBRIDGE THIS SPRING:
MAGAZINE BEACH COMMUNITY TAPESTRY WITH MICHELLE LOUGEE say NO to single use plastic and YES to art, community & nature

NEWS FLASH: JULY 13 CELEBRATION!

Our project is wrapping up and we are getting ready to celebrate!  Come and see the completed Tapestry on display in Mass Audubon's Nature Center in the Powder Magazine, Magazine Beach Park, Cambridgeport.  We are celebrating on Wednesday, July 13, 6 to 8 pm, along with Mass. Audubon's Full Moon Festival of nature and art activities.  Revolutionary Snake Ensemble will bring the party to the Charles River with New Orleans-style jazz, improvisation, and original compositions; keep your fingers crossed for a beautiful summer evening.  All free, please bring a picnic and join us!

 

PROJECT BACKGROUND

Cecily Miller and Michelle Lougee are teaming up to create a new project for Magazine Beach Park in Cambridge.  Taking inspiration from FLOTSAM (pictured, left) -- Michelle's 2021 mash-up of tapestry and mosaic made of post-consumer waste -- we aim to create a new community-based work warning of the environmental dangers of single-use plastic. 

The finished tapestry will hang in Mass Audubon's new Nature Center in the historic 1818 granite Powder Magazine which gives the park its name.

We both live in the Cambridgeport/Riverside area and look forward to getting to know our neighbors better through this participatory project.  Everyone is invited to get involved!  Donate plastics collected at home or on a walk along the Charles River. Come to a free workshop and make part of the tapestry!

Take a look at our PLASTIC COLLECTION GUIDE. We'll have a donation box at Mass Audubon's Powder Magazine building.

TO GET INVOLVED, SIGN UP HERE

DONATE TO OUR GOFUNDME CAMPAIGN

UPCOMING 2022 TALKS & WORKSHOPS

Thursday May 19, 7-9 pm: Workshop

hosted by Gallery 263 (263 Pearl Street, Cambridge)

Learn more and work hands-on!  REGISTER

Sunday May 22, 1-4 pm: Workshop

hosted by Gallery 263 (263 Pearl Street, Cambridge)

Learn more and work hands-on! Stay the whole time or just stop by for an hour.  REGISTER

June: Drop In Crafting Sessions

at the Powder Magazine

We'll work outside if the weather is good, inside if it's rainy

RSVP so we know you are coming! RSVP

Tuesdays, 4 to 6 pm: June 7, 14 and 21

Sundays, 1 to 4 pm: June 5, 12 and 26

MANY THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS!

Many thanks to community partners Magazine Beach Partners, Mass Audubon, Community Art Center's Teen Public Artists, Morse Elementary School, Gallery 263, and the Charles River Conservancy who have helped to bring a spark of an idea to life!  And to the new anti-plastic activism group Beyond Plastics Boston, a local chapter of Beyond Plastics. a national organization working to end single use plastic pollution.

BACKGROUND

Cecily and Michelle first worked together in Arlington, MA where Cecily is the Public Art Curator for the Arlington Commission for Arts & Culture. During Michelle's Artist-in-Residence project, she enlisted 100+ community volunteers to collect thousands of plastic bags and transform them into sculpture.  Entitled PERSISTENCE, this large-scale public artwork is currently on view along the Minuteman Bikeway near Spy Pond in Arlington, It carries a message about the dangers of microplastics. Plastic never goes away; it just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces until it is eaten by creatures who mistake it for food or inhaled by creatures who mistake it for clean air – including humans. The sculptural forms were inspired by the microorganisms that plastic impersonates as it pervades our world.

Michelle has been concerned about ocean plastic pollution since learning about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch 15 years ago and began calling attention to the impact of single use plastic through her varied sculpture and installation work.  Art New England had this to say about a recent exhibit:

"Lougee is a magician who transforms discarded materials into extraordinary aesthetic comments on the ecological disasters we're courting. Her captivating forms are inspired by ocean species that are hundreds of millions of years old, more ancient than humans, which are now threatened with extinction by plastic waste...we're reminded of the daily choices we make. Let's hope that our future progeny will not read 'Once upon a time...humans failed to protect...' It all depends on the choices we make." -- B. Amore

Learn more about Michelle's work at mlougee.com and follow her on insta: @michellelougee

SYSTEMIC CHANGE

We know that individual choices are important, but we all need to work together to demand systemic change.  With recycling rates as low as 6%, and impossible for so many plastic materials, we need radical action, including bans on single use plastic wherever possible. Plastic is creeping into everything -- our clothes, our furniture, construction materials, our bodies.  Microplastics are in our food, our water, the air we breathe.  The fossil fuel industry is powerful, and plastic is their Plan B as we work to transition to renewable energy sources.  We hope to weave options for action through our project, and welcome your suggestions and participation!  In the meantime, there is great material at BEYOND PLASTICS and work is underway to start a local chapter.

OUR FUNDERS

We received a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council which has gotten us started!  We are also still raising matching money from our community through tax-deductible individual contributions via a GoFundMe Campaign. MORE INFO ON HOW YOU CAN HELP

PAST EVENTS

April 23, 1-4: Mass Audubon Open House at Magazine Beach

Come and meet us!

May 3, 7-9 pm: Artist Talk & Mini Workshop

hosted by Gallery 263 (263 Pearl Street)

Learn more and work hands-on! Guest speaker: Eileen Ryan on the plastic crisis and what you can do.  REGISTER

May 10, 7-8:30 pm: Free Film Screening

Watch Robin Frohardt's magical film using humor, evocative puppets, and inventive staging to follow a plastic water bottle into a dystopian future (after "the Robot Wars") where it is carefully excavated and misinterpreted to be a precious artifact from a vanished civilization – ours!  Followed by an artist talk with Robin and Michelle on art & activism. View in person at Arlington's Regent Theater or live-stream at home. MORE INFO and TICKETS.