The Plasticene: Kalliopi Monoyios

A MNjcc tikkun olam exhibition presenting environmentally-themed plastic works that embrace the complexity of our relationship with the material.

Type of Exhibition: Art

A MNjcc tikkun olam exhibit 

Though much of the environmentally-themed work that deals with plastic is about guilt and shame, my work embraces the complexity of our relationship with the material. I collect, wash, fold and sew disposable food wrappers into quilts that could be handed down through generations as heirlooms. I fold plastic film into thousands of interlocking modular origami pieces while meditating on my wish for a solution to the plastic pollution problem. I embroider yards of dental floss into shimmering geometric arrays to pose the question of whether Teflon — a virtually indestructible material in the environment — is best used for 30 seconds between people’s teeth or as an archival piece of art. Creating beauty from a workhorse material that society undervalues is an act of devotion and hope. Only when we fully appreciate how integral it is to our lives can we imagine the nuanced solutions that will move us forward. 



Kalliopi Monoyios graduated from Princeton University with a degree in geology. She built her early career as a science illustrator for the prominent paleontologist Neil Shubin at The University of Chicago. Her illustrations have appeared inside and on the covers of peer-review journals such as Nature and Science as well as The New York Times best-selling book Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin. She co-founded and wrote Symbiartic, a blog covering the intersection of art and science for Scientific American. She served as president of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, an international group of visual science communicators, from 2020-2022. Now she is developing new avenues of public engagement with conservation science via her own art and curated exhibits. 


Presented by:

A Kultura Collective Member

Start Date:

January 3, 2024

End Date:

January 31, 2024

M-F 6am-10pm
S-S 7am-7pm

Downtown Toronto

Miles Nadal JCC
750 Spadina Ave. (at Bloor)


If accessibility options not listed, please contact the venue to confirm


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