Recycle Runway Blog

Two new Recycle Runway Sculptures on the way! Published: 03.18.2016 at 12:05 pm by Nancy Judd

Bella, commissioned by Beacon Converters


This year has started off with a whirlwind of creative energy as I have been working on three very different and engaging new sculptures. On the heels of creating Bella, for Beacon Converters, (read all about this elegant bride on a mission), I am creating new works for the Nature Conservancy and the Port of Portland which will both be completed in April. All three of these pieces will be part of my upcoming solo exhibition in the Atlanta Airport in 2017/2018.

The first commission, called “Pacifica,” is for the Nature Conservancy and is in celebration of the 50 year anniversary of the Cascade Head Preserve on the Oregon Coast. This piece is related to another sculpture I made for the Nature Conservancy in New Mexico, called “Opal.” The inspiration for Pacifica is to celebrate the meeting of the ocean and the land as it does in Cascade Head. Her skirt will be made from shells, driftwood, rocks, and fish bones found along the seashore. They will be strung on pieces of wire and screwed into a metal skirt so that they extend out and appear to be floating around her like seaweed in the water. The bodice will actually be alive! It will be made primarily from mosses gathered from the forest path leading up to Cascade Head. This is a very personal project for me because in the 1970s my parents built a beach house adjacent this preserve and I have returned to this magical place almost every year since!

Design/Materials Inspiration for Pacifica

Design/Materials Inspiration for Pacifica

The new sculpture for the Port of Portland, the entity that runs the Portland Airport, will be a rain gear outfit that represents each of the Port’s five sustainability programs. The following are the five components of the sculpture, the materials they’re made from, and their conceived target message:

  • RAINCOAT: Waste Minimization Program – disposable coffee cups, cut into iconic Portland images will cover the coat to encourage travelers to reuse items such as coffee cups and water bottles.
  • UMBRELLA: Air Quality Program – parking garage tickets will create a swirling graphic on the umbrella to highlight how their program reduces emissions from idling vehicles.
  • HAT: Natural Resources Program – a collage of insects and wildlife photos cut from old periodicals emphasizing the Port’s various protection programs will adorn the hat.
  • SCARF: Energy Program – scrap electrical wire will be woven into a scarf to highlight the clean energy and energy efficiency programs.
  • BOOTS: Water Quality Program – the boots will feature reeds and other plant material from the airport’s Living Machine, an onsite ecological wastewater treatment system that mimics natural and tidal wetland processes. The machine is located in the Port’s headquarters building.

As you can see there are a wide variety of materials and messages in this piece, so I decided to visually convey this by designing an explosion of color and pattern that represents both the Port’s numerous sustainability programs, and Portland’s quirky vitality.

Design/Materials Inspiration for PDX Sculpture

Design/Materials Inspiration for PDX Sculpture

These three sculptures will become part of an exhibition that I am preparing for the Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in 2017/2018. Previously in 2011/2012, I installed 21 of my sculptures in the ATL’s International Concourse E for a yearlong exhibit. During that time, the airport estimates that over 10 million people had the opportunity to see my sculptures as they passed through the concourse! Since my work advocates stewardship of the environment, this allows me to connect this message with a lot of people! Based on the success of this first exhibition, the ATL Airport Art Program staff have invited me back to create another installation of 20 new sculptures for a second show in 2017/2018.

Atlanta International Airport Exhibition, 2011-2012

Atlanta International Airport Exhibition, 2011-2012

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming! What an honor it is to lead such a creative life, helping inspiring organizations promote their good work, and being able to show my sculptures and promote sustainability in the one of the busiest locations on the planet!

 P.S. If you live in the Portland region and would like to  help make either of these sculptures, let me know. I am scheduling several work parties over the next month to assure that these two projects are completed on time!

« Back to the blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *