23,000 bottles and a few big ideas take shape at the Green Long Beach Festival


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High school students at Colegio New City School in Long Beach were deeply affected by the Academy Award-winning documentary ‘The Cove’ -- a compelling look at the 23,000 dolphins slaughtered every year in a cove in Japan.

So when their humanities teacher, Don Grose, asked the students to create sculptures using recycled materials, they set out to create a plastic dolphin sculpture, shown swimming through a sea of plastic, made entirely from 23,000 discarded water bottles.


‘We talked about making art that has a message behind it,’ Grose says. ‘We decided to make an installation that would raise people’s awareness not just about the slaughter of dolphins in Japan, but how all of these plastic water bottles are destroying coastal waters and polluting oceans.’

The students collected and used nearly 2,000 bottles and were pledged 22,000 more from the Cal State Long Beach Recycling Center.

The 23,000 Project will be unveiled at a Phantom Galleries space at 360 E. 3rd St., Long Beach, during the Green Long Beach Festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 10 pm. Saturday. The artists’ reception will be Friday, 3 to 5 p.m. For more information on the 23,000 Project, click here.

-- Lisa Boone

Photo credits: Don Grose

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