Water Bottle Sculpture Found Permanent Home at Discovery World

The eco-friendly water bottle sculpture that Lower School and Middle School students and visual arts teachers created during the 2018–19 school year has been permanently installed in the Freshwater Sustainability Lab at Discovery World. Created out of 1,500 plastic water bottles, the sculpture represents the number of bottles thrown away every second in the United States.

It was displayed at various Milwaukee-area locations throughout the summer of 2019, after which it was meant to be dismantled and recycled. But that changed when John Emmerich, vice president of exhibits and audience engagement at Discovery World, found out about the project from Monique Charlier, executive director of Black Box, which supported the project. She told him about the sculpture and asked if Discovery World might be interested in displaying it temporarily.

As luck would have it, Emmerich was looking for a student-created instillation to hang in Discovery World’s Freshwater Sustainability Lab, which features 15-foot windows overlooking Lake Michigan. Emmerich was excited to have a piece that aesthetically enhances the space while supporting the conservation, education, and freshwater sustainability work that is conducted in the lab.

After ironing out the details, the sculpture was installed in the lab on Oct. 8, 2019. Emmerich, and others at Discovery World, were thrilled with the results. “The spirit of the sculpture is to reduce our consumption of plastic, and it conveys a powerful message to anyone standing in that space,” he said. “To have it live on at Discovery World and continue to drive awareness is really exciting.”
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