Last Thursday night, PCS faculty visited the studio of artist and Upsculpter, Cindy Pease Roe, for some emergent, place-based professional development.  With the help of some serious glue guns, we transformed trash collected from our beaches into personality-filled whale sculptures. 

A lifelong seaside village dweller, Ms. Roe has created a trademarked practice of Upsculpting – a combination of upcycling and sculpting – that removes marine debris from the North Fork’s shores and redirects lethal plastics from reentry into our marine ecosystem.  Ms. Roe is passionate about removing debris from our waterways, where ghost fishing, entanglement, and ingestion threaten multiple species of marine life. 

The Upsculpt studio is open to the public for workshops through which Ms. Roe helps visitors create marine animal sculptures and encourages them to reduce their use of consumer plastics.  Once plastic enters the ocean ecosystem, it is very, very difficult to remove; so, the first line of defense to protect marine animals is to eliminate unnecessary plastics from our lives so that it never reaches the water.


Ms. Roe also brings her practice and her message into schools, and PCS is very much looking forward to her visit on Tuesday.  We will participate in Project Whale Tale: Upsculpt’s latest endeavor in which Ms. Roe guides students through the process of building a unique, large-scaled whale tail sculpture from marine debris and derelict fishing gear to be displayed in the community for visual and educational benefit. 

Inspired by the staff visit to Cindy’s studio and in anticipation of her PCS visit, Lower Primary students spent the day Upsculpting with the debris that we collected, sorted, tallied, logged, and washed(!) as part of our Earth Day coastal cleanup.  Each Lower Primary student started with one piece of driftwood, three pieces of marine debris, one piece of wire, and free access to a glue gun. 

The result?

The Lower Primary Upsculpting Museum opens Tuesday with Ms. Roe’s arrival and will remain on display through the end of the week, featuring: a high tech boat, a canoe, a lobster cargo boat, a doll, a dress up wand, a dog, headphones, a microphone, a water fountain sculpture, a wind-chimer, a thing-a-ma-jig, a swing-a-ma-jig, a one-eyed robot, and more. 


Learn more about Upsculpting and Cindy Pease Roe:

Her studio is located in Hanff's Boat Yard at Sterling Harbor, Greenport.

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