August 28, 2014
The Anchorage Museum has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and a $40,000 grant from The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, both to support Gyre.
The Gyre project, a collaboration with the Alaska SeaLife Center, addresses the problem of marine debris through a 2013 scientific expedition and a 2014 contemporary art exhibition. Marine debris is any man-made object that litters the coastal or marine environment, from a single plastic bottle washed up on a beach to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a floating raft of garbage the size of Mexico. Watch a video about the problem and the project here.
In summer 2013, an international team of artists, scientists and educators will travel the Alaska coastline to observe, document and collect marine debris. In February 2014, a 7,500-square-foot exhibition at the Anchorage Museum will tell a global marine debris story through the work of more than 20 artists. These include Los Angeles’ Cynthia Minet, who re-purposes plastic containers into life-size animal sculptures, and San Francisco’s Susan Middleton, who photographs the effects of marine debris on animals. Other well-known artists who have committed to the exhibition include Alexis Rockman, Mark Dion and Edward Burtynsky.
An exhibition section specific to Alaska will feature the 2013 expedition’s resulting scientific discoveries, as well as art created from the marine debris gathered on Alaska’s beaches during the journey.
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation was formed by artist Robert Rauschenberg to promote awareness of the causes close to his heart, particularly philanthropy programs that intersect art with environmental protection.
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation was launched by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and Jo Lynn Allen to transform lives and strengthen communities by fostering innovation, creating knowledge and promoting social progress. Learn more about Gyre here. Donations to the project are being accepted here.