Happy Earth Day! It’s the time of year to celebrate nature, spend time outdoors, and consider the effects we as humans have on the environment. So it’s the perfect time to highlight an artist whose works you may have seen at the gallery – our very own Pam Longobardi!
After encountering a beach full of garbage in Hawaii, Longobardi started the Drifters Project in 2006. Along with a team of assistants, Longobardi removes plastic debris from oceans and beaches around the world. She then uses the debris to create art meant to spark an interest in reducing ocean debris and overconsumption. In this sense, Longobardi’s art is both activist and educational. In 2013, Longobardi won the Hudgens Prize for her work.
In June 2013, Longobardi was one of 5 artists and 5 scientists who spent a week travelling along the Alaskan coastline. The team travelled over 450 nautical miles by ship, collecting, researching, and documenting marine debris along the way. Throughout the journey, their efforts were recorded by National Geographic filmographers and photographers. A documentary about the expedition, Gyre: Creating Art From a Plastic Ocean, has been selected for several film festivals, including Australia’s Byron Bay International Film Festival, Washington State’s Big Water Film Festival, and the San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival.
A museum exhibition featuring artwork from the expedition is currently on view at the Anchorage Museum in Alaska. A book about the expedition titled Gyre: The Plastic Ocean is available to order on Amazon.com. Longobardi has written a chapter for the book titled “Wilderness and Invasion: Plastic place-makers of the anthropocene.”
Here at Tinney Contemporary, Pam inspires us to be conscious of the ways we impact the environment. Even though Earth Day comes only once a year, we should strive to celebrate the earth everyday.