This summer, a Phoenix (made of trash) is rising from the Ashes in Bandon, Oregon. 

Two years ago, Angela Haseltine Pozzi was building an enormous dragon sculpture made from found materials and beach debris from around the Oregon Coast. Devastatingly, a storm rolled through on Oct. 22, 2022, and lightning struck the dragon, causing it to catch fire, leaving behind nothing but a mound of melted rubber. Another storm just two months later brought down an electrical line, which burned the dragon’s remains a second time.

After the second fire, Pozzi decided to shift the vision for the dragon sculpture into the likeness of a Phoenix – the mythical creature that cyclically regenerates, born again from fire and ashes. There could not be a more fitting image to represent the entirety of Pozzi’s time as an artist working with marine debris and collected trash – creating something new out of old, and inspiring sustainability in the process. 

The dragon was scheduled to be the showpiece of Art 101 – a community hub for ocean conservation centered around art pieces made of recycled marine debris. Pozzi is moving on to this new venture with her artist daughter, Nicola Bianca Pozzi. The new Art 101 space is a creative hub that houses an art gallery, thrift store, picnic area and coffee shop.

Angela’s now finished sculpture, Bandonia the Phoenix, stands at 14 feet tall and with a 22-foot wingspan, and is the centerpiece of the newly opened Art 101 space. Pozzi says “I built The Phoenix rising from the ashes with materials headed to the dump, in order to reduce waste and demonstrate the power of creativity. Bandonia was created to inspire hope, renewal and strength.”

The original version of the sculpture was funded by OCVA as part of the 2022 Strategic Investment fund, which focused on sustainable storytelling. Sustainability and resilience has always been at the heart of Pozzi’s work, and sculptures made from marine debris serving as a community centerpiece was an inspired application of these funds, and creative sustainable storytelling. 

Now, the story has taken on a whole new level of meaning, as it has transformed over time and through the literal ashes, into a Phoenix rising as an example of the resilience the Oregon Coast collectively embodies in the face of change.

Visitors and locals can see Bandonia and Pozzi’s other recycled sculptures at Art 101 at 47134 Highway 101 south of Bandon. The space is owned and managed by www.Reupit.Art whose slogan is “Less Waste. More Art”. Along with the sculptures, visitors can discover an immersive exhibit called The Bioluminescent Sea Cave and an array of interesting artwork including an Artistic Resale area. Learn more here.