Plastic Ocean Project, Bonnie Monteleone

Plastic Ocean Project, Bonnie Monteleone

As a giclee printer for artists and photographers, our work is gratifying when you get to be part of reproducing the stunning works of art that pass through our studios every day. As a team of artists ourselves, we share the same passion for art as those who come to us to make art prints. We view them not as clients but as our fellow artists, who further inspire us.

The Power of Art

Every once in a while, you stumble across art that is engaging and intrigues you to inquire on the story behind it. When I saw photographs of a plastic sea with mermaids coming off our canvas printer, it sparked an interest in me to learn more. I soon realized this job was placed by Bonnie Monteleone who is one of our loyal customers. I asked her about the story behind these images and she proceeded to tell me an exciting tale.

But first, a little backstory. In 2013, Bonnie started a non-profit organization called the Plastic Ocean Project in Wilmington, NC soon after completing her research as a graduate student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. As an artist herself, she created art exhibits such as ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ and collaborated with businesses to reduce their use of plastic. And people started to notice.

A Summit to End Plastic Pollution in the Ocean

This led to Bonnie’s invite to the Ocean Plastic Leaders Summit held on a polar expedition cruise ship named, The Resolute, where a host of non-profit organizations and Fortune 500 companies came together to discuss a common goal: how to advocate and accelerate the end of ocean plastic waste.

For three days, they circumnavigated the island of Bermuda while working collectively in workshops with insightful members driven to make a change for the better. One of those change makers was Soul Buffalo Expeditions, an organization committed to bringing together global leaders and influencers to find solutions to the world’s sustainability problems.  The founder of Sole Buffalo approached Bonnie and asked if she would supply art to auction off for the cause. Bonnie came to us to print canvas giclee’s of her own artwork and art from a renowned artist & photographer Benjamin Von WongThe prints were auctioned off, raising $30,000 for the waste pickers in India; people who clean and sort through waste landfills to salvage and sell reusables or recyclable materials.  Bonnie also had the honor of displaying one of her works on the Resolute ship along with a paradigm called The Resolute Promise. All 160 attendees signed the art piece as a promise to continue to be part of the change. This powerful moment was coupled with the moving music of score and film composer, Garth Stevenson, a double bassist musician who plays the intensely beautiful whale songs that even the whales surfaced to hear.

With this print project, we were reminded of the power that art can possess. The art at this summit not only brings awareness to a cause but directly helps those in need. And Canvas Giclee Printing is ecstatic to have had a small role in the movement to end ocean plastic pollution.

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