A new art installment, “Sayaka Ganz- Reclaimed Creations,” opened at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science with seemingly in motion sculptures purely made out of plastic items. 

The exhibit opened on Jan. 10 and will be part of the museum’s attractions until May 17. It can be accessed with normal museum admission.

Created by artist Sayaka Ganz and produced by David J. Wagner, LLC, “Sayaka Ganz-Reclaimed Creations” is a series composed of over 10 pieces — some in motion. All of the sculptures are represented by animals and made completely out of plastic objects of various tones. 



“I was fascinated with her work and how she could make these sculptures out of everyday objects,” said Andrea Jacquin, New Mexico Museum and Natural History and Science public information officer. 

Ganz grew up with Shinto animist beliefs meaning she believes all things in the world have spirits. Her upbringing had a major role in the creation of her art series. 

“You see the spirit in the inanimate objects more clearly, as if they’re reanimated in animal form.” New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Director of Visitor Experience Rachel Veracka said.

Art with recycled objects is not a new method of art but its popularity has exponentially increased in the last decade, and although Sayaka Ganz is not the first artist to utilize this technique, she’s shown great creativity with it.

“I think this takes it a step further, brings a bigger message,” Jacquin said.

Ganz’s sculptures include items from kitchen utensils to children’s toys. Instead of going to waste, these items come together to form pieces of art with a direct message which emphasizes the protection of the environment. 

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science’s main focus is to share the heritage of New Mexico through its vast collection and research, yet it has decided to share its space with the art community. 

“We recognize the way that people are gonna connect with science it’s often through the arts,” Veracka said. 

Veracka had also mentioned that the museum increased its interest in being more environmentally friendly prior to the addition of the exhibit through recycling, repurposing and reusing. Currently there are foundations of an initiative to add solar power to the museum.

Following the exhibit, workshops and fun activities for all the ages have been added to the museum’s itinerary including a scavenger hunt for children in which they have to find certain plastic objects within the sculptures. There have also been a few adult workshops where people repurpose pieces of jewelry. 

“People were able to either repurpose old costume jewelry that they had, or other sort of items around that were discarded to make something. To make a new treasure basically,” Veracka said. 

The new workshops and activities added hope to encourage creativity and fun to the public.

Jacquin encourages the importance of not easily throwing away our objects without thinking if we can give them a new use.

The series will be available at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science until May 17, 2020 will follow its tour to The Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, NV. 

“Being at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science with dinosaurs have really inspired me. Maybe I should make a dinosaur sculpture next!!” Sculptor Sayaka Ganz said on  Instagram at @sayakaganz_reclaimedcreations 

Annya Loya is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at culture@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @annyaloyadl