Researchers, artists and community leaders unveiled a new sculpture created from marine debris Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 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.
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 and cooperative agreement.