Public art installation kicks off St. Pete Science Festival

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click to enlarge Current Collections challenges viewer/participants to look up through a swirling ocean gyre of plastic debris - Ellen Kirkland
Ellen Kirkland
Current Collections challenges viewer/participants to look up through a swirling ocean gyre of plastic debris


click to enlarge Current Collections challenges viewer/participants to look up through a swirling ocean gyre of plastic debris - Ellen Kirkland
Ellen Kirkland
Current Collections challenges viewer/participants to look up through a swirling ocean gyre of plastic debris

  • Ellen Kirkland
  • Current Collections challenges viewer/participants to look up through a swirling ocean gyre of plastic debris



St. Pete has once again achieved international recognition for its commitment to public art for its latest installation: Current Collections.

The event was carried internationally on BBC and also mentioned in the Wall Street Journal. At yesterday’s St. Petersburg City Council meeting, City Councilwoman Darden Rice declared, “This is a banner day for public arts in St. Petersburg.”

The temporary installation, which opened Wednesday, draws attention to Saturday’s area-wide coastal clean-up event and today’s opening of the St. Petersburg Science Festival.

Gathered for the event at Poynter Park on the USFSP waterfront campus which overlooks both Tampa Bay and Bayboro Harbor were students, faculty, researchers, artists and community leaders representing the diverse nature of this collaboration.

Current Collections is part of a community engagement program put together by the Clean Community-Clean Coast youth and community education program under the auspices of the USF College of Marine Science.

The exhibit, which is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program's Prevention through Education and Outreach Grant is a giant vortex designed to provide participant/viewers with the experience of looking up through a swirling ocean gyre or eddy of marine debris.

Children throughout the city brightly colored the translucent plastic, made from melted bags and other debris collected in previous coastal cleanups.

In conjunction, St. Pete’s 4th Annual Science Festival kicked off today and continues through tomorrow at the waterfront campus with fun for the whole family including hands-on activities related to science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).

The event is also coincides with MarineQuest, the annual open house of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute whose headquarters are adjacent to the campus on 6th Avenue South.


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