Washed Ashore


Last Day: September 21

The special temporary exhibition Washed Ashore is a project of The Artula Institute for Arts & Environmental Education, whose mission is to provide opportunities to express and teach environmental issues through the arts. Through spectacular, giant sea life sculptures made with debris that has “washed ashore,” this project creates awareness about marine debris and plastic pollution and gives new meaning to the common man-made items we throw in the garbage every day. 

Under the leadership of Angela Haseltine Pozzi, community members of all ages have worked together to clean up our beaches and process the debris into materials used to construct giant sculptures of the sea life that is most affected by plastic pollution. These amazing works of art have been created from thousands of pounds of debris removed from local beaches. A sea lion pup, a whale bones rib cage, and an ocean gyre—all made from ocean and beach garbage—are a few of the gigantic sculptures that will be on display throughout the summer.

“We’re thrilled that the Zoo is bringing this important art and educational message about ocean pollution to a wide audience in the Bay Area,” said Angela Haseltine Pozzi, lead artist and Executive Director of the Oregon-based organization. As part of this temporary exhibition, the Zoo will also exclusively host the premiere of  “Buoy, Beat ‘n Bop,” a unique presentation of musical sculptures all made from ocean debris collected from Pacific beaches. This all-new addition to the exhibit will feature a 10-foot long Instrumental eel, musical seaweed, a four-foot tall swaying anemone chime, a colony of 12 sea jelly bells, and a Styrofoam reef drum set, along with a 14-foot wide musical sea star. 

Over the last three years, Washed Ashore has collected over 11 tons of debris from Pacific beaches and created a traveling exhibit of over 30 sculptures and education programs that continues to tour the United States. The message of Washed Ashore has special meaning to the Zoo, as it unites our conservation-driven mission with our unique location right on the Pacific Ocean, presenting a compelling way for us to teach Zoo visitors of all ages about the environmental dangers facing our planet from pollution in our oceans and waterways. For more photos and details, read this review of the exhibit by Budget Day Trips

Our deepest thanks go to an anonymous longtime Zoo supporter who has underwritten this exhibit, making it possible to bring this important show to the Zoo.