Persistence: A Community Response to Pervasive Plastic

Minuteman Bikeway @ Spy Pond Park

Oct. 24, 2024 - Oct. 31, 2021

56 Pond Lane
Arlington, 02474

Starting in October, visitors to the Minuteman Bikeway in the Arlington Cultural District saw the installation of a community-created public sculpture exhibition focused on the problem of single-use plastics and their impact on the global marine ecosystem.

The culmination of a year-long, town-wide collaborative project, Persistence: A Community Response to Pervasive Plastic comprises a series of 37 brilliantly colored forms inspired by microorganisms found naturally in water. Calling attention to microplastics that invade the marine ecosystem, they are fabricated from thousands of single-use plastic bags rendered into “plarn” or plastic yarn and crocheted by brigades of volunteer crafters led by noted fiber artist Michelle Lougee — the town’s first Artist-in-Residence.

Intended to build community and support environmental activism, the ambitious project expands Pathways, an outstanding public art program curated by Cecily Miller for the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture that enlivens one the town’s busiest spaces – more than 4,800 people use the Bikeway in a day.

Persistence will be on view until October 31, 2021, suspended from select trees along the Minuteman Bikeway near Spy Pond between Linwood Street and Swan Way.


This Artist-in-Residence project was generously supported by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, the Grants Committee of ACAC, and the Friends of the Fox Library. Library workshops, meet-ups, and installations are also supported by the Friends of the Fox Library. Additional support provided by generous donations through ACAC’s annual fundraiser Chairful Where You Sit and from individual contributors.

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