Steelhead Stella: Advocacy Through Art

An artful and poignant reminder of man’s profound effect on the Los Angeles River ecosystem.

Steelhead Stella is an artful and poignant reminder of man’s profound effect on the Los Angeles River ecosystem. The bicycle-powered mobile art installation is the brainchild of Aylee Rhodes and Kriegh Hampel, two friends who were inspired by their experience at the 2014 Los Angeles River Clean Up. Soon after the event, they learned about the sea-life that flourished in the LA basin less then 100 years ago – a native population of southern steelhead salmon. With that knowledge as inspiration, they spent the next 14 months with friends and cyclists alike to build the 35-foot long sculpture, using little money, but long volunteer hours. Nearly all the material used to build the steelhead was from waste collected from the river. The sculpture made an appearance during the Los Angeles River Ride on June 28, 2015. It caught the attention of all the attendants who surrounded the piece, studying the trail of trash that man has left behind.

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