‘Drifters Project’ art exhibition focuses on balance between nature, global consumer culture

By: By Meredith Mims McTigue - For The Sentinel-Progress
The “Drifters Project” began in 2006 after Pam Longobardi encountered mountains of plastic being deposited by the ocean on remote islands in Hawaii.

CLEMSON — The first art exhibit of the fall semester at the Lee Gallery at the Clemson University Center for Visual Arts (CVA) focuses on the importance of striking a sustainable balance between nature and the current global consumer culture with Pam Longobardi’s “Drifters Project,” which is on display through Sept. 27.

Plastics are integrated with every aspect of our lives from the smallest little toy to life-sustaining medical equipment and every other place in between. Longobardi utilizes these discards to make installations that explore our global culture through plastics that have been transformed by the ocean, then collected, documented and presented by the artist into the gallery context.

“I am interested in the collision between nature and global consumer culture. Ocean plastic is a material that can unleash unpredictable dynamics,” Longobardi said. “I am interested in it in particular, as opposed to all garbage in general, because of what it reveals about us as a global culture and what it reveals about the ocean as a type of cultural space as well as a giant dynamic engine of life and change. As a product of culture that exhibits visibly the attempts of nature to reabsorb and regurgitate this invader, ocean plastic has profound stories to tell.”

The “Drifters Project” began in 2006 after Longobardi encountered mountains of plastic being deposited by the ocean on remote islands in Hawaii. Since that time, she has removed thousands of pounds of material for re-examination. Visitors to the Lee Gallery will experience various installations along with select paintings and drawings.

An artist’s talk followed by a reception was held Aug. 25. For more information about the exhibit, contact Lee Gallery Director Denise Woodward-Detrich at woodwaw@clemson.edu.

This innovative art collaboration is part of the commitment of the Lee Gallery at the Clemson University Center for Visual Arts to support the university’s ClemsonForward strategic plan to provide educational activities that expose students to research through artistic means. This type of exposure encourages dialogue surrounding supporting a sustainable environment.

The Lee Gallery at the Clemson University CVA will be open for this exhibit 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. It is located in 1-101 Lee Hall, 323 Fernow St. Visit www.clemson.edu/cva to learn about exhibitions in the Lee Gallery as well as other Center for Visual Arts activities and events.

The “Drifters Project” began in 2006 after Pam Longobardi encountered mountains of plastic being deposited by the ocean on remote islands in Hawaii.
https://www.sentinelprogress.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/web1_cudriftersproject01.jpgThe “Drifters Project” began in 2006 after Pam Longobardi encountered mountains of plastic being deposited by the ocean on remote islands in Hawaii. Courtesy photo

By Meredith Mims McTigue

For The Sentinel-Progress

Meredith Mims McTigue works in the Center for Visual Arts at Clemson University.

Meredith Mims McTigue works in the Center for Visual Arts at Clemson University.