Greta the Giant Bluegill arrives at DuPage Children's Museum

  • Check out Greta the Giant Bluegill, a sculpture made of plastic bottles, straws, spoons and other "little things," at the DuPage Children's Museum through Dec. 17.

    Check out Greta the Giant Bluegill, a sculpture made of plastic bottles, straws, spoons and other "little things," at the DuPage Children's Museum through Dec. 17. Courtesy of DuPage Children's Museum

Updated 11/2/2018 4:56 PM

Greta the Giant Bluegill has arrived at DuPage Children's Museum on loan from the Shedd Aquarium.

The plastic debris used in artist Alan Hicks' sculpture was collected during one of Shedd's Great Lakes Action Days, cleanup efforts that see local volunteers teaming up with the aquarium to help maintain local ecosystems.


Made of plastic bottles, straws, spoons and other "little things," Greta the Giant Bluegill measures an impressive 5½ feet long by 5 feet tall (7 feet when she's on her stand).

The bluegill is Illinois' state fish and is associated with good water quality. It took Hicks between three and four weeks to complete the sculpture, not including the time it took to clean the bottles and other trash that went into the piece.

"Exposing children to authentic artworks is a very important part of DCM's mission. To be inspired by the world and think deeply about how we interact with and live in it helps lead to self-expression and confidence," said Kimberly Stull, director or exhibits and operations, DuPage Children's Museum. "When Shedd Aquarium offered to send us one of their sculptures, we jumped at the opportunity, because the work they are doing is so important for our larger community. The artist calls attention to the incredibly pressing problem of pollution in our water systems by creating beauty from people's garbage. The juxtaposition offers parents an opportunity to talk with their children about their impact on the world and how it takes each one of us to make a difference."

Unfortunately, about 22 million pounds of plastic end up in the waters of the Great Lakes region each year, with about half of that finding its way into Lake Michigan.

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Greta the Giant Bluegill reinforces the call to action to reduce our use of single-use plastics.

Working with found materials since the 2000s has given Hicks his own perspective on the problem of single-use plastics. "I want people to think about the materials that they get rid of. I want people to see that there are other uses for things and that it doesn't have to be just trash."

Greta will be swimming around DuPage Children's Museum now through Dec. 17.

Stop by to admire this beautiful and thought-provoking sculpture. Admission to DuPage Children's Museum is $12 for age 1 or older, and $10 for seniors; it's free for members and children less than one year.

About DuPage Children's Museum

The Museum helps develop curiosity, creativity, thinking, and problem solving in young children through its mission: "DuPage Children's Museum ignites the potential of all children to learn through hands-on exploration by integrating art, math, and science." Interactive exhibits and programs make learning fun for children and adults playing together. DCM serves over 300,000 visitors annually representing all 50 states and 575 zip codes in Illinois. DCM's reach and support represent well beyond the Chicagoland area. The Museum's impact extends across cultural, financial, and educational boundaries. It touches the lives of children from all regions, providing the building blocks for success in school and life. The Museum is located at 301 N. Washington Street in Naperville, or call (630) 637-8000.

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