“Save the sea turtles” was a popular trend in 2019 when young girls, dubbed VSCO girls after a popular-at-the-time app, made the hashtag all the rage. And, although the trending hashtag may have since fizzled, the need to save the sea turtles and the world’s waterways at large is still very much a growing concern. Enter Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea, a traveling art exhibit stationed around Galveston from December 15, 2023, through March 31, 2024. Washed Ashore brings large sculptures of sea and ocean creatures to life with one catch- all of the creatures are made of single-use plastics collected from the shores of beaches around the globe. Designed to get people thinking and talking about their consumption habits, Washed Ashore is an engaging, free art exhibit meant to be thought-provoking and educational for all.
Washed Ashore was created by the Artula Institute, a nonprofit organization based around the arts. Washed Ashore began in Bend, Oregon, and is aimed at educating a global audience about the pollution in waterways around the world and what consumers to do to help fix the problem plaguing the seas. Washed Ashore currently has four traveling art exhibits, one of which is located in Galveston through the end of March 2024.
Washed Ashore is an organization comprised largely of volunteers who work together to make a difference. To date, volunteers with Washed Ashore have given more than 14,000 hours of their time and have cleaned up more than 300 miles of beaches. These volunteers have processed more than 60,000 pounds of trash and debris and have been able to convert 95 percent of the debris into art designed to educate.
Art from Washed Ashore pops up in a lot of different places- you can even commission your own piece! However, if you are traveling to Galveston, Texas, in late 2023 and early 2024, you can catch 5 larger-than-life sculptures around the island. Find out their exact locations here. From Greta the Great White Shark to Stanley the Sturgeon, these sculptures should be interesting for all! Artists have even placed beach toys such as shovels and buckets at kids’ eye level so they can understand the importance of keeping waterways clean.
If the mission of Washed Ashore is calling to you, you can learn more about getting involved here. Waterway pollution is certainly something that affects everyone around the globe, and every person can benefit from an understanding of why it’s important to keep debris out of our seas- and why single-use plastics on the whole should be done away with.
If the colder months of the year have you yearning for the beach, Galveston is a great place to be! The island will give you warmer temperatures as well as a breeze off the Gulf that will remind you of the magic of summer. When you book your winter getaway to the Texas coast, consider a stay at Summer Breeze RV Resort in Kemah, Texas. After you’ve enjoyed the nearby Kemah Boardwalk, you can head down to Galveston to play in the sand as well as look for the awesome sculptures from Washed Ashore set up around the city. Summer Breeze is family-friendly with loads of amenities that allows you easy access to both Houston and Galveston, so it’s a great spot to call home for a few days (or weeks, or months…) Enjoy the warmer weather in Texas this winter season!