ASLD exhibition The Plasticene
Gyre - Kalliopi Monoyios


Curated by Kalliopi Monoyios

Exhibition Dates: JAN 31–MAR 15 2020

Location: Art Students League of Denver, 200 Grant St.

Opening Reception: Friday, Jan 31 | 5:30–8PM | Curator Talk 6–6:30 PM

Special Events

Build a Junk Raft @ DMNS: Thursday, Feb 6 | 7–8:30 PM

This event will take place at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO 80205

Denver Museum of Nature & Science logo


Panel Talk with an Artist, Scientist and Conservator: Friday, March 6, 2020 | 6–7:30 PM @ASLD

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Plastic touches every aspect of our lives.

It is in clothing, housewares, toys, medical devices, vehicles and infrastructure. It coats our walls, transports our water, encases our food, fills our cavities, even prolongs our lives.

“It is such a hallmark of our time that geologists have joked that the current geological period, the Anthropocene, should be renamed the Plasticene.

Yet the word “plastic” is equated with cheapness, both in quality of construction and value. Disposable things are plastic, cheap knock-offs are plastic. Why is this so? How has a material that in only seventy years has replaced all traditional materials in every application earned the reputation for being worthless? Shouldn’t it be the opposite? Shouldn’t it be revered?

In April of 2020, we will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Earth Day with a closer look at plastic.

It’s safe to say no one will be giving plastic any accolades. As we awaken to the fact that plastic’s long afterlife creates enormous problems like the Pacific Garbage Patch and microplastic pollution, we come face to face with the reality that plastic’s honeymoon period is over. But abandoning unrealistic ideas of life without plastic is not conceding defeat.

There will be new generations of plastics — ones that solve the serious environmental problems posed by the current generation — and the Plasticene will no longer be a snarky punchline but an earnest description of this period of innovation and invention surrounding humanity’s most versatile material.

Exhibiting Artists:

Nicole Banowetz

Brandon Bullard

Taiko Chandler

Marcus Eriksen

Laurie Frick

Dylan Gebbia-Richards

Linda Melvin Graham

Heidi Jung

Will Lee-Ashley

Kalliopi Monoyios

Sarah Mortlock

Helping Hands of Littleton e-NABLE

Andrew Roberts-Gray

Joel Swanson

Sarah Winkler

Zelda Zinn

Information about guest curator, Kalliopi Monoyios:

Kalliopi Monoyios is a visual creative dedicated to communicating the wonder of the natural world to a wide and varied audience. Beginning her career as a science illustrator for the prominent paleontologist Neil Shubin at The University of Chicago, she was the first to bring the fossil discovery Tiktaalik roseae to life. Her illustrations have appeared inside and on the covers of top peer-review journals as well as in three New York Times best-selling popular non-fiction books, including Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin.

Illustrating for such diverse audiences taught her the value of having a large array of media at your fingertips — everything from traditional media, graphic work, fine art, cartoons, writing, and even performance can spread science far and wide. In 2011, she co-founded Symbiartic, a blog covering the intersection of science and art, exploring some of these broad-ranging scicomm/sciart efforts for Scientific American. Now, driven by the conviction that science communicators operating in all spheres are a critical part of creating a scientifically literate public, she is developing new avenues of public engagement with science via her own art and curated exhibits.