Part of Northeaster’s ongoing Earth Watch column.
Source: Art to Change the World
A sculpture made from things found in or next to the Mississippi River will be unveiled next week.
Starting with the theme “One River’s Trash is the Same River’s Treasure,” the Mississippi River Pearl mixed media sculpture is an Art to Change the World collaboration produced by Project Manager Barbara Bridges and group members Frances Bates, Amáda Márquez Simula, Greg Volker, Margo Ashmore, Annie Merrell, Neil Granlund, Katherine Boyce, Alexis Schramel, and Kelly Frankenberg.
The creation of “Pearl,” which is an elaborate throne backed by many drawers full of fun, shocking and/or informational takeaways, was funded by a Mississippi Watershed Management Organization Stewardship Fund Program grant. The project led ten people to collect trash along the Mississippi River and participate in an immersive curriculum unit to create the artwork using the found river debris and other hand-constructed and found objects.
The project started Sept. 24 when three small groups combed the riverbank for trash and brought it for cleaning to Barbara Bridges’ Northeast back yard studio. Schramel and Boyce’s group found a car part, possibly a protective piece from an undercarriage, that eventually became wings on a chair throne. The wings were covered in part by a mosaic made from cans, and adorned with feathers cut from plastic bottles. The chair, found at a thrift store, has an upholstered seat made by quilter Lucy Schroepfer from clothing found discarded at the river. Each participant exercised their own skills and learned new processes while working on the sculpture and the interactive drawers that sit behind the sculpture and anchor it.
The unveiling is at Homewood Studios, 2400 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis, on Friday, Nov. 11 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Attendees can open all 21 drawers, take a memento and a research card or two. Read about the project: https://www.arttochangetheworld.org/mississippi-watershed-management-organization-project. Contact ACW: email@example.com
Below: Barbara Bridges examines a car part found along the riverbank. It became the part of an elaborate throne. Participants examined the raw materials for their mixed-media project. Alexis Schramel and Katherine Boyce and some of their finds. Drawers for investigation. (Photos by Margo Ashmore)