Community arts nonprofits and environmental nonprofits come together to celebrate this collaborative project.
Oklahoma City, OK – October 14, 2022: OKC Beautiful teamed up with local artist Gabriel Friedman to create a sculpture made of trash to communicate about the harms of litter and single-use materials. This piece will be unveiled during a community event on October 22, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.
The piece is set to be installed next week in the southeast corner of Scissortail Park’s recently-opened Lower Park and is constructed using trash collected by volunteers.
“We have loved seeing this educational piece of art come to life,” said Lisa Synar, Executive Director of OKC Beautiful. “This unique piece will draw attention to the creative reuse of a variety of found materials by volunteers into a creative form and promote recycling, litter abatement, and resource conservation. We are grateful for the partnership with Scissortail Park to provide a home for this fun educational art.”
During the community event, arts nonprofits and environmental organizations will come together to provide community programming and share information about environmental issues.
Prior to the community event, beginning at 11:00 a.m., volunteers can participate in a short cleanup in the area to gather materials for the art piece. Gabriel Friedman will be installing materials on-site to the art piece.
OKC Beautiful engages volunteers throughout the year with litter abatement efforts and focuses on prevention methods for reducing litter, such as education in schools and public information campaigns. This art piece will serve to communicate about the harms of litter, negative impact of single-use materials, and ways that we can take action to reduce and prevent litter.
Gabriel Friedman is the artist who created the piece. He is an Oklahoma City based sculptural and large-scale 3D artist, photographer, builder, teacher, and father. His works and mediums are site-specific, ranging from the whimsical to the absurd. He has training and extensive experience in a variety of materials and mediums including carpentry and woodworking, naturally harvested materials, metal and welding, blacksmithing, general construction and contracting.
“I’ve been secretly making art out of trash for most of my life,” said Friedman. “Whether I sneak it into my public art piece or when I make little trash sculptures just for me, I see ‘waste’ as material embedded with energy and stories. So, I am thrilled to be working with OKC Beautiful to create a public sculpture addressing the disposable nature of our society using items used, discarded and then recollected by my Oklahoma City neighbors and friends.”
The placement at Scissortail Park is fitting, given the organization’s commitment to eco-friendly practices. The Scissortail Park Foundation has committed to no use of Styrofoam or plastic water bottles, uses a variety of water and pollinator-conscious landscaping practices, and incorporates nature and environmental education in their programming.
Maureen Heffernan, CEO & President of the Scissortail Park Foundation said of the project: “Sign me up for trash collection! I think this is a creative, effective, and engaging way to work to drastically cut down on trash that eventually winds up in the Oklahoma River. Gabriel Freeman, with his creative energy and ingenuity, will no doubt produce a sculpture that adds colorful and fun character to the Lower Park with and a critical underlying message.”
OKC Beautiful’s litter abatement efforts engage more than 5,000 volunteers each year.
“This art piece has come about in a totally collaborative nature and has engaged residents throughout our community in helping collect materials for the project, all while helping the environment,” said Natalie Evans, Program & Marketing Director for OKC Beautiful. “Volunteers will have a unique opportunity to say that they helped this creative vision come to life.”
To learn more about the event, visit bit.ly/OKCtrashart.