Read more about Michele Oka Doner’s project here, in the Miami Herald.

RETHINK MB, Thalassia,
Michele Oka Doner

Postcard Campaign for Biscayne Bay;
Join Bridge Initiative and BFI for a family-friendly weekend!

Saturday & Sunday
April 24 + 25, 2021
1 - 4 PM


12th Street and Ocean Drive
Lummus Park, Miami Beach



In December 2020, booklets were available at the following venues:

-Pérez Art Museum Miami
-Rubell Museum
-MOCA North Miami
-The Bass
-The Wolfsonian  
-Oolite Arts
-Bakehouse Art Complex
-Center for Subtropical Affairs

TAKE ACTION FOR THE BAY: For more info and steps we can take to support the ecosystems that support us, The Field School has assembled a list of individual actions, and collective policy actions, that we can enact to reduce the harm we cause to Biscayne Bay.

Miami Waterkeepers coordinated a life-support system to add oxygen into Biscayne Bay this Summer and continue to seek volunteers for 1,000 Eyes on the Water, their rapid response team, to provide ongoing community science reports on the situation in Biscayne Bay.

Continuing our Waterproof Miami project, Thalassia, with Michele Oka Doner, we are excited to offer a special Earth Day activation of Doner's project.

A gif composed of a promotional poster and images of varying covers of Michele Oka Doner’s “Thalassia” in which children have colored upon.

In December, we produced a newsprint adaptation of Michele Oka Doner’s handmade artist-book, “Thalassia'' for no-contact distribution, passively on countertops of art institutions and local businesses. The approachable, accessible format of a passive distribution system for an artist’s book is meant to take a work made privately in an artist’s studio, and launch it as an address to the city at large, so broad audiences can learn from the artist’s research on seagrass beds in Biscayne Bay.

Now for Earth Day we are launching a postcard project that accompanies Michele Oka Doner’s “Thalassia” publication, where people of all ages will draw their favorite creatures from Biscayne Bay on top of Doner’s reproduced drawings of seagrass. In this way, Doner’s work becomes inspiration for a new generation of artists, just as the seagrass in the Bay allows for countless other things to flourish. The finished postcards are then mailed to Florida politicians cheering on their support of environmental issues.

To distribute the work and encourage educational awareness of ecosystem issues at a timely moment, Waterproof is collaborating with RETHINK MB and the City of Miami Beach to launch an upcoming activation with the Thalassia postcards. The activation will take place on the weekend after Earth Day, on April 24th and 25th in Lummus Park on Miami Beach. Join BFI and Bridge Initiative on Saturday and Sunday from 1 - 4 PM to learn more about Biscayne Bay, draw some of the ecosystem’s most charismatic creatures, and call for individual and collective action to restore the Bay and it’s seagrass.




Michele Oka Doner
Miami Art Week, Various Locations

An artist book advocating for Biscayne Bay seagrass restoration by Michele Oka Donor launching during Miami Art Week.

Copies of Michele Oka Doner’s book “Thalassia” are displayed in three different views along a blue background.

“Biscayne Bay between Miami and Miami Beach has lost over twenty miles of seagrass in the past decade, dramatic die-off only worsening.” Contained in Michele Oka Doner’s handmade artist book, Thalassia, is a stark depiction of an ecosystem collapsing.

Sensitively marked on paper that has been embedded with Turtle Grass, Doner’s writing and ink drawings lay out the role this plant species plays in the health of the marine environment that Miami, and all its inhabitants, are inextricably tied to. First reported on August 10th, 2020, Biscayne Bay experienced an unprecedented fish kill this Summer, with thousands of organisms washing ashore as a result of a drop in oxygen levels in the Bay. The ongoing degradation of the Bay’s tropical seagrass has resulted in a temporarily anoxic environment, an organism without lungs.

To help catalyze the regeneration of this critical ecosystem, excerpts of Thalassia have been reproduced as a free printed booklet for distribution as a part of WATERPROOF MIAMI, a collaboration between Bas Fisher Invitational and Bridge Initiative. WATERPROOF commissions artist projects that address environmental issues impacting South Florida. Booklets will be available for people to pick up at cultural institutions across the city, with a running list of distribution spots available on the left of this page.

Two pages from Michele Oka Doner’s book “Thalassia” have ink drawings of bundles of grass at the center,  ink text on the right page reads: “Thick meadows of seagrass once kept our waters clear.  They were Filled with marine life. Tarpon, snapper, manatees, snook, grunt  The decline of the seagrass began 2005 after twin hurricanes pounded South Florida.  That was Followed by persistent algae booms.  Coral and sponges were Killed off.  The Fish population shrunk.”

Michele Oka Doner is an internationally renowned artist and author. Her artwork is fueled by a lifelong study and appreciation of the natural world, which she first encountered as a child growing up in Miami Beach. Her artistic production encompasses sculpture, public art, prints, drawings, functional objects, artist books other five other media. She is well known for creating over 40 public and private art installations, including A Walk on the Beach at Miami International Airport, seen by 40,000,000 travelers a year. She has authored or been the subject of eight books. Oka Doner has received grants from the Knight Foundation, the New York State Council of the Arts and others; and awards from the United Nations Society of Writers and Artists, Pratt Institute and was recently awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan, where she received her undergraduate and MFA degrees.

Represented by Marlborough Gallery, New York, her work can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum, Chicago Art Institute, collections at Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Michigan, the Louvre, Paris, the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and many other museums internationally.