Persistence: A Community Response to Pervasive Plastic
Michelle Lougee and the Arlington Craftivist Community
2020, crocheted plarn
Working with Arlington Public Art Curator Cecily Miller, Fiber Artist/Sculptor Michelle Lougee led this comprehensive, months-long Artist-in-Residence project involved hundreds of craftivists, who helped create 37 colorful sculptures for PATHWAYS: Contemporary Art on the Minuteman Bikeway.
The project’s goal is to raise awareness of the deadly impact of single-use plastic on environmental and human health. These colorful sculptures are crocheted from PLARN, a “yarn” made from plastic bags, and they resemble micro-organisms found in water. Michelle Lougee began using plastic bags as a material 10 years ago to draw attention to plastic pollution in our oceans. She creates elegant intricate forms that are reminiscent of organic life coral reefs, seeds and nuts, insects and single cell organisms, reminding us of the complexity, beauty, resilience and fragility of the natural world around us. Her perspective complements Arlington’s commitment to environmental activism and stewardship.
The Town has been a leader in community-led efforts to reduce plastic waste; from kids in elementary school Green Teams who have eliminated plastic straws from their lunchrooms to the Zero Waste Committee activists who have organized to pass a single use plastic bag ban, stopping plastic pollution matters in Arlington.