Early this August, I had the opportunity to view Sheila Rogers’ “Oceans of Plastic” exhibition at the Art Museum of South Texas (Corpus Christi). The intent of Sheila Rogers’ captivating and colorful artwork is to raise awareness of one of the most disturbing consumer and environmental issues that we choose to ignore today: plastic pollution, particularly in our oceans. The 3-D pieces are made from tons of debris she has collected along the waterfronts of the Corpus Christi area where she lives. Sheila advocates for a reduction of single-use plastics by encouraging small lifestyle changes that will lessen the amount of waste we are depositing into our environment.
What was most shocking to me was the sheer quantities of the same type of item found over and over again all over the beaches: milk jug tops, drinking straws and bic lighters. Each of her pieces in this exhibit were color-sorted collections of plastics that I, personally, use on a daily basis. Sadly, turtles and seabirds are killed easily because they their stomachs become filled with thousands of bite-sized floating garbage chunks and they succumb to a long, slow, and painful starvation.