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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Karen Valenzuela, Thurston County Commission Chair at (360) 786-5414 or ValenzK@co.thurston.wa.us
Carrie Ziegler, Solid Waste Education & Outreach Specialist at

County Commissioners Get Sneak Peek of Latest Plastic Art Piece
Public debut of "The Butterfly Effect" at Arts Walk Apr. 25

Thurston County Commission Chair Karen Valenzuela couldn't help but get a sneak peek of the county's latest plastic art piece today. Other commissioners also got a preview of the latest creation of the art in education program spearheaded by county staffer Carrie Ziegler in collaboration with fellow county staffer Jennifer Johnson and students from 19 local schools.

Ziegler, Johnson and nearly 700 students created hundreds of butterflies out of plastic juice pouches for the new piece titled "Rise Above Plastics: The Butterfly Effect" that will be on display at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts from April 25 through the end of June. Along with the work on the art piece, students also learned tips, tricks and information to help protect the environment and their own health, including using glass or stainless steel water bottles, taking re-usable bags shopping, and heating food in non-plastic containers.

"Just viewing the finished product is a powerful and inspiring experience, but I'm really moved by the way Carrie and Jennifer have worked to make the entire process a compelling and effective learning experience for our local youth," said Commission Chair Karen Valenzuela at the special sneak peek viewing earlier today.

"This new art piece is just amazing, and really inspiring to see," said Commission Vice Chair Sandra Romero. "Thurston County is so fortunate to have such talented people like Carrie and Jennifer on our staff. This new piece and last year's whale are so creative and imaginative, and I know they help make a truly memorable learning experience for all of us."

"I'm so impressed with all the meaningful layers that our staff have folded into the image and into the process they used to create the piece—collaboration, partnership, countless links and connections, and all of the small pieces and small actions adding up to a powerful statement. I think it's actually a wonderful visual representation of what we're trying to do in Thurston County right now with efforts like Thurston Thrives to show how personal health, community health, and environmental health are all connected and all effected by one another," said Commissioner Cathy Wolfe, who also chairs the county's Board of Health. "Carrie and Jennifer have done a magnificent job with this piece."

WHAT: "Rise Above Plastics: The Butterfly Effect" Art Debut at Spring Arts Walk

Friday, April 25 beginning at 5 p.m. — art will be on display through June

WHERE: The Washington Center for the Performing Arts at 512 Washington Street SE in Olympia, 98501

The 2014 Spring Arts Walk will be Friday, April 25 from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 26 from noon to 5 p.m. For more information about the 2014 Spring Arts Walk, including an interactive map and mobile app, visit www.olympiawa.gov/artswalk, or read the City of Olympia's Arts Walk news at

For more information about the Thurston County Solid Waste education and youth programs, visit www.ThurstonSolidWaste.org/Youth.


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3