Persistence: a collaborative public art installation by Michelle Lougee

Michelle Lougee was the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture’s Artist-in-Residence in 2019-2020. She worked with more than 100 community volunteers to create 38 works of sculpture using thousands of collected plastic bags to sound the alarm about the single use plastic crisis. Plastic pollution — debris and microplastics — is devastating wildlife, marine life, and entire ecosystems, especially in coastal areas, waterways and oceans.

The forms of the sculpture are inspired by the microorganisms commonly found in a drop of water.  They have been on display in trees along the Minuteman Bikeway near Spy Pond since October, 2020. Now it is time for them to come down, so we are having a 1-day exhibition at Porchfest — so you can see them up close and handle them.  We are also having a sale — so please consider taking one home!

Persistence was sponsored by Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture in collaboration with 20 community partners.  Special thanks to the Fox Library which provided a home base for the project before the pandemic interrupted in person gatherings; the students of the Arlington Public School Green Teams, who created educational signage for the Bikeway; Ottoson and Thompson School students who helped with fabrication; the Arlington’s Recycling Coordinator/DPW and Zero Waste Committee; and members of the Arlington Knitting Brigade and other craftivists who crocheted the components assembled into sculpture!

The Artist-in-Residence was funded by grants from the Mass. Cultural Council and the Grants Committee of the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture as well as generous donations from individual supporters.

PHOTO CREDIT: Asia Kepka for more information.


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