“Washed Ashore” at the Denver Zoo features colorful sea creatures made from waterway litter

This fall, Denver is hosting a menagerie of colorful sea creatures made entirely of trash collected from west coast beaches.

Ben Parks and Angela fluff the anemone garden at the Denver Zoo. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Ben Parks and Angela fluff the anemone garden at the Denver Zoo. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Ben Parks and Angela Haseltine Pozzi fluff the anemone garden at the Denver Zoo. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

This fall, Denver is hosting a menagerie of colorful sea creatures made entirely of trash collected from west coast beaches. 

“Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” has never before been displayed at an inland zoo — until now. The exhibit opens today at The Denver Zoo and is designed to draw attention to Colorado’s own contribution to the ocean-wide litter problem through its various waterways.

Artist and “Washed Ashore” executive director Angela Haseltine Pozzi flew down to Denver from her hometown in Portland for the exhibit’s setup and debut. She was working as an artist and educator when she was inspired to action by the pile-up of trash on pristine Portland beaches.

She’s turned that trash into treasure.
One of seven jellies from Washed Ashore now lives at the Denver Zoo. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
One of the Washed Ashore’s seven hanging jellies. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Now, she tours the country with her entourage of trashy sea creatures to bring awareness to the amount of debris collecting on beaches and the still greater quantity that has yet to “wash ashore.”

“Until we run out of plastic on the beach, we will keep doing our work,” she wrote on the Washed Ashore website.

Denver she brings 15 giant sculptures to Denver, including Flash the marlin, Natasha the sea turtle, an anemone garden and several hanging jellies.

A sea turtle surfs over a wave of water bottles for Washed Ashore at the Denver Zoo. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
A sea turtle surfs over a wave of water bottles for Washed Ashore at the Denver Zoo. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

They are made of debris, collected over years and assembled into their current bright and colorful shapes. She hopes children and adults will see her sculptures and recognize that even one piece of litter contributes to a much larger problem.

Angela Haseltine Pozzi, the artist and Executive Director of Washed Ashore, discusses the garbage used to make Flash the Marlin. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Angela Haseltine Pozzi, the artist and Executive Director of Washed Ashore, discusses the garbage used to make Flash the Marlin. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

On Saturday, guests are invited to view the exhibit for free during normal Zoo hours, or purchase tickets for the kid-friendly Washed Ashore Beach Party Saturday night from 6-9 p.m.

The exhibit will be on display at the Denver Zoo from Sept. 24 through Jan. 17.

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

Subscribe to Denverite’s newsletter here.