Crochet Coral Reef : Featured Exhibit

One of the largest participatory art and science projects in the world has come to Santa Cruz – Mathematics, marine biology, art, and community merge beautifully in the ever-evolving handcrafted Crochet Coral Reef exhibition.

The Crochet Coral Reef: CO2CA-CO2LA Ocean exhibition was pioneered by sisters Margaret and Christine Wertheim and their Los Angeles-based organization, the Institute For Figuring (IFF). The sisters co-founded the ongoing handicraft project in 2005 to reflect environmental threats through blending art, science, and social activity. The Crochet Coral Reef exhibition educates the public about ecological issues and engages people in ocean conservation. Since its beginning, the collection has been displayed at top art and science museums around the world.

In addition to the traveling exhibition, the sisters and IFF have involved thousands of people in more than 12 countries in a Community Satellite Reef program. The program brings people together to build large-scale crocheted artwork inspired by scientific and mathematical research. Through the process of collective creativity and positive action, the program addresses the damage being done to coral reefs and marine life, and brings worldwide attention to the dangers of global warming and oceanic plastic trash. 

This week Crochet Coral Reef premiers locally as a two-part collaborative production by the Institute of the Arts and Sciences of the UCSC Arts Division, the Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery, and the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. On February 10, the Sesnon Gallery and the Institute of the Arts and Sciences opened the Crochet Coral Reef: CO2CA-CO2LA Ocean exhibition. Then, beginning May 4 the Seymour Marine Discovery Center will be presenting colorful knit handiwork from hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and local community members who have been involved with the UC Santa Cruz Community Satellite Reef program.

There are still opportunities to create coral for the UCSC Community Satellite Reef program. Crochet circles are being held on various weekdays at the UCSC main campus and at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center through March. The Institute of the Arts and Sciences also welcomes people to crochet independently or with other groups and drop off or mail in the results.

Find out more information about the artwork, exhibition, and program HERE.

Crochet Coral Reef: CO2CA-CO2LA Ocean
February 10 – May 6, 2017

All images credited to:© Institute For Figuring’s Crochet Coral Reef project, 2005–ongoing.

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