Earth Day Q&A with Downtown Green Bay, Inc.

By Janelle Fisher, Marketing & Communications Intern

Just like the sculptures in our new summer exhibit, Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea, a new sculpture made from reclaimed materials is being installed in downtown Green Bay!

Here’s Sally Ebeling and Emily Cubitt of Downtown Green Bay, Inc. and Laura Schley (Public Art Coordinator for the City of Green Bay) to tell you all about the new Salva-Jelly sculpture installation and their efforts to keep downtown areas clean.

Q: What is the Salva-Jelly installation? How would you and the artist describe it?

A: “Salva-Jelly Bloom is a permanent public art sculptural installation constructed from a mix of recycled, reused and new materials. The larger-than-life jellyfish and midwestern industrial-inspired creation offers the impression that it is floating within the vacant greenspace in downtown Green Bay.”

Artist Brandon Minga explains, ‘The underpinning of most of the work I create is based on the idea that humans know not what they do, how what they create long outlasts them. More specifically the exploration of the machines/robots created and the relationships between them and their creators and their surrounding natural environment. The Salva-Jelly is no exception being an evolved version of a natural jelly this creature has now collected plastic bottles to use for its bioluminescence.’

Q: When and where can people see the Salva-Jelly installation?

A: “The Salva-Jelly installation is still being constructed but currently planned for completion in mid-April with an expected installation at 112 N. Adams Street to take place end of April/early May and a sculptural celebration to follow shortly after.”

concept art of salva-jelly bloom art installation
Concept art of Salva-Jelly Bloom art installation.

Q: What sort of impact do you hope the Salva-Jelly Bloom installation will have on Green Bay and visitors to the area?

A: ”We’re hoping that people will go out of their way and/or enjoy the surprise of stumbling upon the piece during the day and evening when the sculpture is lit. We also hope that this piece inspires the creation of more public art projects to be funded and created throughout the city.

Volunteers helping to clean downtown Green Bay.

On a deeper level, I hope that the sculpture will make people think about what is entering the planet’s water system and what we can do locally and individually to create less waste. At the very least, hopefully, the sculpture will influence the people that see it to think differently about what they are throwing away, how they can reuse items and what they might be able to create out of it.”

Q: Do you have any programs or volunteer opportunities for people who are inspired by Salva-Jelly and looking for ways to help out locally?

A: “As a nonprofit organization working for the Business Improvements Districts, we don’t have a large budget to hire help like bigger cities, so Adopt-A-Block and Clean Team are programs that let volunteers do what they are passionate about and keep the downtown looking its best while helping us out!

Downtown Green Bay, Inc. is always looking for new volunteers to help with their Adopt-A-Block and Clean Team programs.

The first impressions of a downtown are so important. We get many visitors from across the nation and we want to put our best foot forward. At the moment we have about 25 volunteers. We hope to get a number of businesses signed up for Adopt-A-Block this month. We also hold small group clean ups as requested.”

Q: What are some of the positive changes you’ve noticed as a result of the Adopt-A-Block Cleanliness Program and Clean Team Volunteer opportunities? What goals do you hope to achieve in the future?

A: “Positives changes we’ve noticed from the Clean Team Volunteer program are first and foremost visual. It’s great when you walk or drive around and you don’t even think about the program because it’s so clean!

Second, I’ve certainly had volunteers tell me they been stopped on the street and thanked or someone in a car stopped (safely) to say thank you. That means a lot to the volunteers and that acknowledgment is a nice motivator.

Adopt-A-Block was just launched, so we hope to see what that program brings in the coming months. We know garbage happens both accidentally and on purpose. No matter the cause, if we can allow dedicated people to take a nice stroll outside and clean up along the way, we’re reaching our goals!”

For updates on the Salva-Jelly installation, follow the City of Green Bay’s Community and Economic Development Facebook page. Stay up to date on the work of local artist, Brandon Minga, by following his Instagram and Facebook pages @brandonminga or by checking out his website.

Remember to visit Downtown Green Bay’s website for Adopt-A-Block Cleanliness Program and Clean Team Volunteer opportunities.

If you like Salva-Jelly and want to see more sculptures with a similar message, check out Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea, arriving at the Garden on Saturday, May 8!