Denver Zoo announced CH2M as the presenting sponsor of its new traveling exhibit, “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” at Denver Union Station, where the Zoo installed an 850-pound octopus sculpture to celebrate. Washed Ashore opened to the public on September 24, featuring 15 giant sculptures of marine life at the Zoo made almost entirely from trash collected from beaches.
“We are thrilled to join the Denver Zoo in presenting the Washed Ashore exhibit. It is a very compelling way to advance sustainability and STEM education, both of which are focal points of our community giving and core to the purpose we serve at CH2M,” says CH2M Chairman and CEO Jacque Hinman.
“Washed Ashore is a thought-provoking exhibit that helps provide a broader understanding of the issues our planet faces, while showing the role we all play in protecting it. We are grateful for CH2M for helping us bring the exhibit to our community. This is a great opportunity to help connect guests to our mission to secure a better world for animals through human understanding,” says Denver Zoo President/CEO Shannon Block.
Denver Zoo installed Octavia, an 850-pound octopus sculpture made of trash, in front of Denver Union Station. From a sea turtle to a tiger shark, the exhibit is designed to create awareness about ocean debris and plastic pollution though art.
The enormous Octavia is nine-feet-tall and 12-feet in diameter, too large to fit at the Zoo or to even squeeze through the doors of the historic station. Octopuses are intelligent and curious, so this scrappy cephalopod is exploring and investigating a variety of discarded objects around her, including a fish bin, goose decoy and cooler.
“We are grateful to Denver Union Station for donating this space for Octavia. It allows us to share the sculpture with the entire community, including those that may not be able to make it to the Zoo,” says Denver Zoo Senior Director of Guest Experience Brad Parks.
“We were happy to offer Octavia a home for the next few months. Not only is sustainability a cause we appreciate, but in this very important election year, it is critical for us to show our support of Denver’s cultural institutions and SCFD,” says Walter Isenberg, of the Union Station Alliance.
Washed Ashore was developed by the nonprofit group, The Washed Ashore Project. This is the first time the exhibit will live in Denver, as well as the first time it will be hosted by an inland, non-coastal zoo. Almost all of the sculptures represent species that can be found in oceans, such as a sea turtle, tiger shark or sea jelly. From afar they can be viewed as intricately-detailed art pieces. Up-close, visitors will notice the discarded items the artist used to create them, such as brown flip flops that cover a baby sea lion’s face or toy truck tires that make up part of a blue marlin’s eyes. Sometimes the individual pieces of garbage are easily identifiable, other times they require closer looks. Guests are even encouraged to touch the sculptures to learn more.
One brand new sculpture is of a Chinook salmon, which helps tell the story of how much ocean pollution originates from activities on land and flows down river to oceans, even from Denver.
Washed Ashore runs through January 16, 2017 at Denver Zoo and is free with regular paid admission to the Zoo.
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