Boca Raton, FL – The City of Boca Raton will unveil its latest Art in Public Places project, titled REcycled REef, on Friday, March 18 at 8:30am at South Beach Park, near the entrance at Palmetto Park Road. The unveiling will be immediately followed by a beach cleanup, organized by the City’s Office of Sustainability.
The new Art in Public Places project was envisioned to reflect the City’s focus on coastal sustainability, and to encourage creative ways to repurpose, recycle and conserve. The project also aims to educate the community about the harmful effects of pollution on marine life and inspire sustainable actions through an artistic creation.
In December 2021, the City Council selected local artist Gregory Dirr to create the artwork. Nature has long been a major theme in Dirr’s work, and every piece he creates includes recycled materials. His previous mural work for the City can be seen on the Spanish River Park beach tunnels, which debuted in 2019.
The new installation, REcycled REef, features an oversized coral reef, with a contemporary spin. The core structure is made from recycled metal, wire mesh and concrete. Dirr then adhered discarded materials to the structure that he personally collected near oceans, canals, and waterways, creating a mosaic design. The entire piece was then painted with high grade exterior paints to replicate the colors of a real coral reef and covered with a UV coating to prevent graffiti and deterioration.
“The recycled material art project is a great way for our residents and visitors to learn about the impact of plastic in the environment, make informed decisions on how they use plastic in their daily lives, and to be mindful of the items they bring to our beautiful beaches,” said Lindsey Roland Nieratka, the City’s Sustainability Manager.
The artwork unveiling will be attended by City leaders, staff, and the artist. Gumbo Limbo Nature Center will host an educational tent to further educate the community on how plastic debris directly affects local marine life.
The community is also invited to participate in a beach cleanup at South Beach Park from 9am – 11am with the City’s Office of Sustainability, and support from local public benefit corporation, 4Ocean. The Office will provide participants with buckets and grabbers for the cleanup. In the spirit of waste reduction, participants are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles.
For more information on the City’s sustainability efforts, visit City of Boca Raton’s Office of Sustainability, and Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. To learn more about other art projects, visit the City’s Art in Public Places page.