An impactful exhibition of trash
Over the spring and summer of 2015, artist and concerned citizen Sean Connaughty had collected 69 bags of trash from his neighborhood lake in Minneapolis. He with the help of others, sorted and cataloged every item and decided to put them on display as a way to raise public awareness of the declining condition of Lake Hiawatha and to rally supporters for an upcoming public meeting.
For the exhibition, I designed five informational banners to give the audience context: the history of the lake, environmental impacts on wildlife, the survey and findings, and a personal call to action. I also developed an interactive display component at the end of the exhibit where audience members could take action in one of three ways:
- Sign the petition (if a local resident) in support of cleaning up the lake
- Sign up for email updates and notices of upcoming volunteer activities
- Make a personal pledge to change habits that affect stormwater run-off into our lakes and streams (individuals were photographed with their pledge to be posted on the website as a growing community of support)
In addition, I helped to promote the exhibit through various media and organizations, including a story posted by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in the week leading up to the event. The turnout exceeded expectations and many audience members expressed how much they were impacted by the exhibit and information.
Exhibit credits: Sean Connaughty, Annette Walby, Craig Johnson, Amy Dritz, Carol Nordstrom and Andy Powell.