Artist Turns Flotsam From Hurricane Sandy Into Pieces for Storm-Themed Exhibition

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The New York Foundation for the Arts isn’t the only non-profit organizing an exhibition of art effected and inspired by Hurricane Sandy: On March 7 the Brooklyn Arts Council will open “Sea Drift,” a seven-artist exhibition curated by Kay Turner and Claudia Gerbracht. For his contribution, Greenpoint-based environmentalist artist and found object sculptor Willis Elkins will present objects made from plastic he has pulled from New York City’s waterways in the hurricane’s wake.

His sculptural groups of plastic pieces include lighters, toys, pens, and more. “You find all sorts of things when you’re out here,” Elkins told the Brooklyn Ink while pulling the frame of a domestic bee hive out of the East River at Bushwick Inlet. “There’s plastic bags and Styrofoam cups, and sometimes stuff like this.”

For his contribution to the BAC show, Elkins will show sculptures made of nurdles, plastic pellets he finds on Brooklyn shores and melts down. “The broader issue that I liked was the mystery of it,” he told the Brooklyn Ink. “How did it get here? Where did it come from?”

The other artists in “Sea Drift” are Stephen Mallon, Marie Lorenz, the duo of Angela Jimenez and George Kortsolakis, Ocean Morisset, Larry Racioppo, and Randy Duchaine. The exhibition opens at BAC‘s gallery in DUMBO on March 7 and continues through May 24.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Image: Willis Elkins, “Plumb Beach Lighters,” 2011. Courtesy the artist.)