Depths & Consequences

Art project puts focus on trash in lake

Suzanne Earls, owner of Pieceful Arts, with the sturgeon fish being made for Great Art for Great Lakes. (ASHLEY TAYLOR/SIMCOE REFORMER)

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Suzanne Earls and Holly Anderson have teamed up to create Depths & Consequences, an eight-foot mosaic sturgeon from recycled glass and post-consumer plastic.

The piece is being done for Great Art for Great Lakes, a project which enlists local artists to teach the public about their responsibility towards keeping the Great Lakes clean.

The goal of the project is to show the public how much of its plastic ends up in the waters and to inspire people to use less single-use products.

Cleaning Up Norfolk, which Anderson founded, held clean up days along Lake Erie to collect plastics found on the beaches. Earls has been holding workshops at her downtown Simcoe business, Pieceful Arts, to have members of the public create scales out of the plastics collected.

“There’s a huge surprise to how much exists in the lake,” said Earls. “The fact that we gathered just a sample of the hard plastic, there’s so much more.”

Some of the most common plastics they have found are water bottle lids, children’s beach toys, and beaded necklaces from the recent Pottahawk boat party.

“It makes a difference, it all adds up,” Earls said about the small plastics left behind.

The age range attending these workshops has been wide, with the youngest participant being three years old, and the oldest being over 75.

“The reaction has been disappointment, but also hopefulness because there are groups that are actively cleaning, and trying to build awareness,” said Earls.

One of those groups is Cleaning Up Norfolk.

“Holly is a fantastic partner, I couldn’t have asked for a better group than Cleaning Up Norfolk to partner with.”

There are two more workshops, one on August 17 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Aug. 19 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Anyone wishing to attend must sign up online; the link can be found on the Pieceful Arts Facebook page.

The final work will be displayed at the Port Dover Harbour Museum in the fall. It will be officially unveiled to the public on Oct. 8 at 7 p.m., the public is invited to attend.

astaylor@postmedia.com

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