Meow Wolf partners with SFCC to display life-size blue whale sculpture

New Mexico

A whale of a guest is making a splash in Santa Fe this Earth Day. Her name is Ethyl—a life-size blue whale sculpture made entirely of recycled plastic and steel. 

Meow Wolf is partnering with Santa Fe Community College to bring Ethyl aboard. The effort hopes to bring awareness to the issue of global plastic pollution and the effects pollution has on marine wildlife.

The art collective and school said they hope Ethyl’s dramatic size and sustainable message will have a lasting public impact. 

The whale was recently in San Francisco and was produced by artists Joel Dean Stockdill and Yustina Salnikova who, along with a team, sorted the trash used to make the whale. The 82-foot-long whale was built by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and their partners as part of the Art in the Parks program that connects people with creative experiences that are inspirational, unexpected and transformative.

In a press release, the aquarium says that a blue whale can weigh about 300,000 pounds which is the same weight of plastic that ends up in the ocean every nine minutes.

According to a Monterey Bay press release, it took a crew of about 15-20 people 18 weeks to build the whale which is made of hand-recycled type #2 plastic which is used to make milk jugs, detergent, toys, and some plastic bags.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium says that plastic trash was donated to the project from California recycling centers in addition to over 4,000 pounds of donated plastic received by the artists.

You can see Ethyl next Monday at SFCC’s track field. 

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