Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center
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Exhibit Overview

A gyre is a swirling vortex. The surface circulation of our oceans is dominated by gyres that may be hundreds to thousands of miles in diameter. It is these gyres that re-distribute and aggregate debris in our oceans. Alaska's shores are the northern fringe of the North Pacific Gyre.

The Gyre exhibition opens Feb. 7 during First Friday. At 7 p.m. exhibition artists offer fast-paced presentations about the intersection of art and the environment. At 8 p.m. meet the international members of the Gyre expedition in the gallery and ask them questions. The museum offers a full slate of Gyre-related events through September.

In June 2013, as part of the Gyre project, an international team of scientists, artists and educators launched an expedition to study marine debris in southwest Alaska. LEARN MORE

Exhibit Overview

GYRE: The Plastic Ocean
On view Feb. 7 through Sept. 6

J.J. Kelley, producer/director, Adrian Pruett, producer/editor

A flip-flop discarded in Thailand finds its way to Hawaii, and a bottle cast off from a tsunami in Japan becomes Alaska’s beach litter. In a culture dependent upon the modern convenience of plastic, throwaway products of consumption are affecting oceans and shrinking our world as we all become connected through our trash.

A unique art and science exhibition, Gyre: The Plastic Ocean, brings the problem into perspective. On view Feb. 7 through Sept. 6, 2014, the exhibition explores the complex relationship between humans and the ocean in a contemporary culture of consumption.

For decades artists have created works that address the relationship between community and environment. In the later part of the 20th century, artists gave a voice to the environment. Artists such as Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, Christo and Jeanne-Claude and others became interested in the social value of art.

Today, plastic packaging finds its way into the hands of artists via our ocean biosphere. Some, such as Judith Selby Lang and Richard Lang, take an almost archaeological approach to collecting and curating bits of plastic trash while fashioning it into works of art. Others, such as Anne Percoco, collect materials to create community-based work that is often tactile and playful. More than 25 artists from around the world explore these ideas from multiple perspectives in Gyre.

Thought-provoking interpretive panels along with films and interactive displays examine ocean science and include the work of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researchers, National Geographic filmmakers and others. Showcased is a 2013 expedition by artists and scientists to document and collect trash along Alaska beaches. These varied viewpoints reveal the far-reaching effects of our new plastic ocean and the innovative ways we can work to reclaim it as a natural environment.

The result is a remarkable visual narrative and a provocative look at the impact we each have on our world.

Mandy Barker, England
Edward Burtynsky, Canada
Dianna Cohen, Los Angeles
Fran Crowe, England
Joan Wadleigh Curran, Philadelphia
John Dahlsen, Australia
Mark Dion, New York
Andrew Hughes, England
Chris Jordan, Seattle
Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Anchorage
Karen Larsen, Anchorage
Elizabeth Leader, Buffalo, N.Y.
Max Liboiron, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Pam Longobardi, Atlanta
Rebecca Lyon, Alaska
Steve McPherson, United Kingdom
Susan Middleton, San Francisco
Cynthia Minet, Los Angeles
Tuula Narhinen, Finland
Anne Percoco, Jersey City, N.J.
Tim Remick, Anchorage
Alexis Rockman, New York
Sue Ryan, Australia
Evelyn Rydz, Boston
Judith Selby/Richard Lang, California