The museum’s new school tour focuses on plasticits history, the scientific breakthroughs in its development as a material, and how it can be used to create not just water bottles and toothbrush handles, but also works of art, designed to inspire conversation and promote innovation.

Opening on Feb. 3, this new curriculum-driven exhibition at Spalding House offers a dynamic interdisciplinary approach to the single topic of plastic. On the tour students will use the scientific method to learn about natural and manmade materials. They will also gain insight into environmental issues, consumer culture, and ecology through viewing works of art, participating in docent-led discussions, and doing exercises in civic action.

On view will be works from the museum’s collection that illustrate the history of plastic as an art-making material. Also on view will be collages made out of plastic bags by Los Angelesbased artist Dianna Cohen. Two vastly different sculptural installations by New York-based artists Aurora Robson and Maika‘i Tubbs (who is from Honolulu) make references to a new world being formed and created with the man-made material. Also on view is the textile work of German artist Swaantje Guntzel that reveals the global reach of plastic pollution by mapping out in embroidery the path of plastic garbage in the oceans. Rounding out Plastic Fantastic? is a series of photographs by Seattle-based artist Chris Jordan that illustrates the sober reality of what plastic pollution ultimately does to living creatures.

Following the hour-long tour, the students will participate in an artist-led project that is inspired by what they experienced in the galleries.

This tour is designed for grades K-12, and runs from Feb. 3 to July 10, 2016. Registration for the tour is now open.

Funding for Plastic Fantastic? has been provided by the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, founded by Jack and Kim Johnson to support environmental, art, and music education. Also generously supported by the Louis L. Borick Foundation.

This project was developed in partnership with the Kōkua Hawaii Foundation , Surfrider Foundation–Oahu Chapter and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

Learn more about this FREE tour here.
Learn more about the FREE Teacher Workshop presented in conjunction with this exhibition here.
Sign up for this FREE tour here.