Two installations in Norfolk show that art can be made from just about anything.
The first stop in this art tour is the traffic light at Norview Avenue and Azalea Garden Road, just outside Norfolk International Airport. If you’re lucky the light will be red which will give you the chance to study “Navigator,” the remarkable 24-foot blue heron sculpture that sits at the intersection.
“Navigator” is made from decommissioned aircraft with steel structural elements and handblown glass eyes. According to the Norfolk Arts website, the sculpture commemorates flight in two ways, both the “aluminum birds” that people get into every day at the airport and the blue herons who call Hampton Roads home. The sculpture was designed by Don Kennell and the DKLA Design Team from Santa Fe, NM. For more information go to https://norfolkarts.net/artwork/airport-artwork/.
Once the light turns green, turn left onto Azalea Garden Road to see “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea,” at Norfolk Botanical Gardens. For the past ten years, the educational nonprofit Washed Ashore has teamed with organizations and individuals to collect 26 tons of debris off beaches. Some of that debris has been turned into the 15 sculptures that make up the Norfolk installation.
The sculptures are fascinating to look at, but they are meant to make a larger point. According to the World Economic Forum & the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans by weight than there are fish. NBG and Washedashore.org are asking the public to take the Washed Ashore pledge, which includes several steps to reduce the amount of plastic in the oceans.
The exhibit runs until October 31. For more information go to https://norfolkbotnicalgarden.org/washed-ashore-2021.