Environmental Art Festival to be held at the MEEC

On Saturday, April 21, NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography will host an Environmental Art Festival in collaboration with the Marine Environmental Education Center (MEEC), Free Our Seas, Broward County Parks and Recreation and the City of Hollywood, Florida. The event will be held at The Carpenter House from 12-5 p.m.

Beforehand, the Surfrider Chapter of Broward County will sponsor a beach cleanup, outside of The Carpenter House. The art showcased will be inspired by nature and the ocean, and will take the form of sculptures, sand art, murals and more.

In addition, attendees can look forward to live music performances, activities and games for children, Captain the sea turtle feedings, hands-on art projects and food from a variety of vendors.

PRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM M. WEISE Many of the featured pieces featured at the Environmental Art Festival are made from debris and trash found from beach clean-ups.
Many of the pieces featured at the Environmental Art Festival are made from debris and trash found from beach clean-ups.

“It’s harnessing the power of art and bringing awareness to the pollution that’s happening to our ocean, and our waterways and our beaches, [caused] by continuing the use of single-use plastics,” said Manon Weise, co-chair for the festival. “That’s what inspired us to do this festival, because all of our beaches were covered with trash, plastic bottles, plastic bags, everywhere.”

Weise explained that some of the art pieces are not only inspired by the environment, but also utilize pieces of what would have been pollution in their creation. For example, one piece that will be on display is a flip-flop grouper, a sculpture of a fish that has been created out of around 200 flip-flops that were found on Hollywood beach. Other artworks utilize plastics, buckets, straws and other trash that has been picked up on beach clean ups. Students in the community have submitted art to be shown as well.

The inaugural event is an attempt to educate the public and spread awareness about marine debris and how we can all do our part to help the environment. For example, attendees are encouraged to bring reusable water bottles to the event that can be filled there, so as to reduce the footprint of the festival itself. Vendors at the event will also refrain from using plastics in favor of more sustainable alternatives.

“The idea behind it is really to highlight a lot of the artists and groups who are featuring recycled and upcycled art, and how we can help the environment by reducing our waste,” explained Amy Hupp, caretaker and program coordinator at MEEC.

Admission to the event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact manon.freeourseas@gmail.com or elaine.fiore@browardschools.com, or visit artscalendar.com/event/free-seas-beyond-environmental-art-festival/.

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