November 02, 2021

‘Beep, Beep,’ Says the Roadrunner Overlooking Las Cruces, New Mexico

‘Beep, Beep,’ Says the Roadrunner

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico – A giant statue of New Mexico’s state bird, the roadrunner, perches along I-10 and has an excellent view of Las Cruces and the Organ Mountains. It also has a tale to tell because it is an art project made from junk and discarded items. Volkswagen headlamps are its eyeballs, scores of athletic shoes form its white belly and crutches, golf clubs and ski poles help make up its body and wings. Olin Calk built the first incarnation of the statue in 1993 at the Las Cruces landfill, in part as a statement about waste. It later moved to a rest area on I-10 (eastbound exit only at Mile Marker 134). It was recoated with new junk in 2001 and removed altogether in 2012 after deterioration and vandalism. It came back in 2014 in its current state. Observant visitors study its construction to find items such an Aladdin’s lamp, a bowling trophy and a toy pterodactyl.
(Photo by Tom Adkinson)

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