Art, Music, and Poetry Projects


From the Bow Seat – Art competition 

Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs believes that students who learn by creating and making, experience deeper learning and longer-lasting behavior change.  They wanted a global reach to impact teens and also provide the opportunity of scholarships to as many diverse students as possible. Each year the contest is open to middle and high school students around the world who submit works in up to four existing categories – Art, Poetry, Prose, and Film. In 2015 the Contest received nearly 1,100 entries from 43 states and 34 countries, and awarded over $83,000 in scholarships to 180 students, teachers, and their schools.

Click here for information on 2017 competition.  
Students can submit works of art, poetry, prose, or film that speak to the theme Ocean Pollution: Challenges & Solutions.

2017 Creative Advocacy Competition information here.  This Competition is a great opportunity for students to build communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity skills, as well as deepen students' understanding of the marine debris problem while making a real difference at their schools and in their communities. Students can earn scholarships of up to $5,000 - and Sponsors can earn awards too!

The Challenge - Design and carry out a project on your school's campus or in the local community that uses the
creative arts to: educate the public about marine debris, inspire people to change their behavior, and engage them in
activities that reduce or prevent marine debris. The Competition, sponsored by a grant from the NOAA Marine Debris
Program, is
open to middle and high school students in the U.S.








Grate Art

Grate Art is a project of Ocean Recovery Alliance, bringing "Art for Awareness" to the streets of Hong Kong to remind people not to dump into storm drains, as the water drains to the sea. We hope that this project can also be replicated in other communities around the world, creating sister-city programs for Grate Art. 





Marine Debris Calendar Art Contest

NOAA's Marine Debris Program sponsors a yearly nationwide “Keep the Sea Free of Debris” art contest to get children thinking about how they can keep debris out of the ocean. Kindergartners through 8th graders from all over the country submit artwork depicting the marine debris problem, and the program selects 13 pieces of work to display in a calendar.





 Marine Debris Snow Globe

earn how to make a marine debris snow globe.  Discuss marine debris and learn about the local organizations who conduct beach cleanups and other earth-friendly activities at the Artexplorium.










 More Clay Less Plastic

MORE CLAY LESS PLASTIC was born in 2014 as an open group on Facebook with the intent of creating a network between ceramicists and the public.
THE MESSAGE The message we want to put through is very simple: more clay less plastic.
PLASTIC POLLUTION Plastic pollution has reached dramatic levels. Reducing the use of plastic
is a fundamental and urgent step to save the environment and improve the life quality of every
living creature.

INVOLUTION AS A FORM OF EVOLUTION The aim is to highlight respect for the environment by
inviting people to rethink their daily habits, for example by avoiding disposable plastic. Colanders,
cups, plates, bowls … once made of clay and then substituted with plastic, can be made of clay again.







New_Roots_resized.jpgNew Roots

New Roots is a project-based learning program centered around themes of community, heritage, culture, ecology, and sustainability.  Each creative arts project that we embark on together provides a wealth of teaching opportunities -- from literacy development to our collective human story, from local ecology to our global interdependence -- as well as opportunities for personal growth. 
Nearly all of our art materials are sourced from repurposed garbage, allowing us to minimize costs while modeling sustainable creative techniques, to apply new ecological understanding to our everyday lives, and to have fun while cleaning up our local environment. Through the process of transforming trash into beauty, our students become emboldened with a new sense of agency. They learn that the world is what they make it.

New Roots is based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and works in a village that is rich in
and impoverished financially. New Roots hopes to instill a sense of pride in the youth
so that they care for their natural resources, learn from their elders, and continue to evolve into
and environmental leaders of their community. 



One Beach Plastic 

Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang's One Beach Plastic has been an ongoing collaboration to collect plastic that washes ashore at Kehoe Beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Since 1999 they have focused their attention on just 1000 meters of tide line on a single beach.  One Beach Plastic can plan an eco-event; create a commissioned piece of art for a home or office; or curate an exhibit with their Beach Plastic Collection. Email to discuss an event or project.






reDiscover Center  

ReDiscover Center is an arts and environmental non profit in Los Angeles promoting resource conservation, creativity and community engagement through material reuse and Tinkering club programs.  Their Artists in the Schools program works with teachers to integrate visual arts into classroom curriculums.   

  • The Tin Forest: In this program K-2 students explore the concepts of resource conservation and the power of imagination culminating in the creation of an assemblage project.
  • Tinkering School LA Workshop: In this program students from grades 2-6 use real tools and real materials to solve real problems. The workshops guide participants through a design challenge, themed build, or open studio sculpture using power tools, lumber and up-cycled materials.
  • A Tale of Two Islands: Students will role play the characters on two different islands and grapple with the
    true struggles of preservation of our environment and the pressure of progress.
  • Discovery by nature: Three sequential art lessons for 1-3 graders in selected schools of the Pico Union
    neighborhood. These free classes expand upon the themes of inquiry, conservation and respect for the
    environment that students encountered in the CNI program.





Bristol_Whale_resized.jpgThe Bristol Whales 

Designed and built by Cod Steaks, initiated by Artists Project Earth and funded by Arts Council England, The Bristol Whales represents the beauty and fragility of our oceans and the increasing human threats that they face.  Made from willow harvested locally in Somerset, the sculpture depicts two life size whales swimming through an ‘ocean’ of 70,000 plastic bottles, upcycled from the Bath half marathon and Bristol 10k. 







Turtle Island Restoration Network - Coloring pages from 

Download and print coloring pages for the five most common sea turtles in the U. S.  Created by professional illustrator Garth Mix, each page features an anatomically correct sea turtle drawing and size in comparison to a human being.  The pages include:

  • Leatherback sea turtle coloring page
  • Green sea turtle coloring page
  • Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle coloring page







Washed Ashore Project 

The Artula Institute for Arts and Environmental Education’s Washed Ashore Project takes the marine debris items in beaches and turns them into spectacular art sculptures that demonstrate ocean life. The Washed Ashore Project has featured its sculptures at museums, zoos and aquariums across the country spreading the awareness about marine debris. The Create, Don’t Waste Project will expand on the organization’s marine debris awareness activities by creating an “Integrated Arts Marine Debris Curriculum”, leading teacher workshops at various exhibit sites and by leading an experiential learning program for local students in Bandon, Oregon.


Featured Artists


amy_martin_for_PPC_resized.jpgAmy Martin

Amyhas 15 years of award-winning editorial design experience, and currently serves as Associate Art Director at Portland Monthly magazine.  She has created books, magazines, posters, products and illustrations for Obama for America, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, American Cinematographer Magazine, Fast Company, GOOD, Portland Monthly, The Walt Disney Company, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Times among many other publications.  Her work has been shown at the Manifest Hope galleries in Denver and Washington DC, the Re:Form School gallery in NYC, The 2010 California Design Biennial, The Electric Works gallery in San Francisco and in American Illustration 29.

Her first illustrated children's book, 'Symphony City', was released by McSweeney's in July 2011 and won the 2012 Ridgeway Honor Award. Her second book, 'Music Is' (Simon & Schuster), was written by Brandon Stosuy of Pitchfork. 






Twio the Turtle - Plastic Free Challenge

Plastic never bio-degrades and disrupts our endocrine system, causing cancer, infertility, and many other diseases. The Plastic Free Challenge is designed to raise awareness and promote solutions. The campaign is fueled by creative contributions and your participation. We endorse sustainability by publicly posting selfies and other clever and inspiring images to our social media feeds and challenging others to do the same. We use the hash tag #PlasticFreeChallenge to tie it all together. We lead by example and influence our circle of friends.   






Poetry Slam - created by Christine Pardee 

Take a creative approach with students, learning about plastic pollution, writing two pieces of poetry on the issue and producing a multi-media presentation which includes the original student poetry.  The activity is based on Jackson Browne’s song, “If I Could Be Anywhere” from the album “Standing In The Breach” (© 2014, Jackson Browne, Inside Recordings).  See uploaded document.