The Birth of the Bay Bottom Blotch

Bay Bottom Blotch
Bay Bottom Blotch, created and designed for Save The Bay by Amy Cohen in 1976

The Birth of the Bay Bottom Blotch

As a RISD senior in 1976, my specialty was creating large-scale body sculpture and masks to be worn in my original performance art pieces. My uncle, Aaron Cohen, one of my biggest fans, heard through a close friend working with Save The Bay that the organization was looking for a mascot to appear at an early fundraising meeting, to hit home the message that pollution in the Bay was a serious problem, with dire consequences. I earned the commission with my proposal for the creation of a weary, soggy, beleaguered creature called the Bay Bottom Blotch, who’d climb out of the bay, appear in the meeting room and deliver an impassioned speech about his intolerable living conditions. How could funders possibly ignore such a poignant plea? It was my first such ‘experiential marketing’ commission and it set the stage for my career designing creative community engagement solutions illuminating significant issues of our times. That first experience with Save the Bay, showed me the power artists can wield in collaboration with organizations working for a better world.   ~Amy Cohen

*Please note:  Be sure to access the Johnson & Wales University Harborside Campus through the main entrance on Harborside Blvd. Your GPS may suggest taking Ernest Street to JWU’s Shipyard Street entrance, but that route requires a key card for entry.  

From Route I-95 North or South, take Exit 18 (Thurbers Avenue). Head downhill on Thurbers Avenue to US Route 1A (Allens Avenue). Turn right onto Allens Ave. Continue southbound on Allens Ave. into Cranston, where Allens Ave. becomes Narragansett Blvd. Turn left onto Harborside Blvd. at the traffic light by the Shell gas station. Follow Harborside Blvd. through the Johnson & Wales Harborside Campus. At the end of Harborside Blvd., turn right onto Save The Bay Drive. Save The Bay Drive becomes a circular, one-way roadway as you approach the Bay Center. Parking is available in four guest lots after you pass the main building. Enter the building through the main entrance.