People of all ages helped to make the Tapestry at workshops held on Tuesdays and Sundays at the Powder Magazine in May and June.
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
A mother and son working together on the Tapestry. photo: Cecily Miller
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.
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.
This photo gives a sense of scale of Flotsam as installed in Michelle Lougee's exhibition at the Boston Sculptor's Gallery in 2021.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.