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SBU Collaborates with Village of Port Jefferson to Create Recycling Sculptures

A mock-up of Professor Nagasawa's sea turtle sculpture in Harborside Park

The Village of Port Jefferson recently held a competition to design a series of sculptures in the Village for collecting recyclable materials and also to raise awareness about single-use plastics and the dangers of waste in aquatic ecosystems. Stony Brook University senior Michael Manning’s “Shellfish Recycling Bin” and Art Professor Nobuho Nagasawa’s “Sea Turtle” were the two winning designs.

A mock-up of Professor Nagasawa's sea turtle sculpture in Harborfront Park
A mock-up of Professor Nagasawa’s “Sea Turtle” sculpture in Harborfront Park

Port Jefferson Trustee Rebecca Kassay and Mayor Margot Garant collaborated with Karen Levitov, director and curator of the Staller Center’s Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, to establish another synergistic relationship between the Village and the University. The Village’s competition was open exclusively to Stony Brook’s sculpture MFA students and undergraduate sculpture students working with Nagasawa. A total of 11 proposals were submitted and reviewed by a selection committee, and three finalists were invited to present their proposals via Zoom. 

A diagram of art student "Michael Manning’s “Shellfish Recycling Bin", which will be placed in Rocketship Park
A diagram of art student “Michael Manning’s “Shellfish Recycling Bin,” which will be placed in Rocketship Park

“Shellfish Recycling Bin” is a human-scale crab that will collect recyclables at Rocketship Park and “Sea Turtle” will be placed at Harborfront Park. Both locations are highly visible to locals and visitors. The sculptures will be accompanied by plaques that credit the artists and provide information about the sculptures’ function as recycling containers and reminders of the dangers of plastic waste to the local ecosystem.

An Honorable Mention was given to MFA student Marta Baumiller for her “Baskets of Change” design. Funding for the fabrication and installation of the sculptures will be sought from grants, foundations and donations. The committee is enthusiastic to help launch the career of the talented Michael Manning and is thrilled to have a sculpture from world-renowned artist Nobuho Nagasawa in Port Jefferson.

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