Plastic Crisis Probed at California Museum

california museum
Photo by Zac Noyle

Forget about “Paper, or plastic?” Things have progressed to the point where California Museum is asking “Planet or Plastic?” The downtown museum (1020 O St., conveniently within a few strides of a light-rail stop) hosts this environmentally analytical exhibit through Aug. 7.

Face-masked visitors can check it out from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays or from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Here’s what the museum says they can expect:

“The ‘Planet or Plastic?’ exhibition examines the global plastic waste crisis and showcases innovators working to solve this urgent issue. Organized and traveled by the National Geographic Society, the national touring exhibition raises awareness of the plastics crisis and provides actionable steps visitors can take in their lives to reduce, reuse, recycle and refuse products with single-use plastic.

“The exhibition tells the story behind plastic from its invention just over a century ago to its current mass consumption through 70 profound photographs, powerful infographics and videos.

“Alongside the traveling exhibition, the California Museum’s presentation also spotlights Californians fighting plastic pollution. A highlight of the supplementary display is a series of portraits of environmental heroes created by artist Tess Felix entirely from plastics washed up on Northern California beaches.”

In addition to wearing face coverings, visitors ages 12 and older must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. General admission is $10, students and seniors are charged $8, and children under age 6 are fee-free.

“Distinctly Her Own: Sculptures By Viola Frey” is the museum’s other temporary exhibit; it continues through May 15. “This exhibition highlights Bay Area artist Viola Frey’s iconic style and her relentless need to make art. The sculptures made late in her life explore personal reflection and our shared human experience—themes she explored throughout her life.”

Learn more about California Museum online.