OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – If trash had a history in this city an author could write whole chapters along the old ‘hubcap alley’ where it once crossed the Oklahoma River.

This is fertile ground for a lifelong picker and artist like Gabriel Friedman.

We can’t even go half a block without finding something that speaks to his sense of discovery.

Holding a rusty piece of metal he found in the gutter, Friedman imagines, “that could have been on an old race car.”

“I like the weight of things that have ‘old energy’,” he continues.

So Gabriel was the perfect choice for an art installation designed to show the impact discarded trash has on our lives.

“It needed to be big to get peoples’ attention,” he says, “and it needed to be not disgusting.”

Over several months, crews organized by Keep Oklahoma City Beautiful picked up trash all over the park and this part of town.

“A lot of people come and see their own trash,” smiles Friedman.

Friedman added a few of his own touches and built a huge trash monster out of it.

He says, “I love the idea that a lot of the stuff here came from all over the world.”

His sculpture does have a huge face on one side, but it’s easy to get lost in the details.

“People tell me it looks like some of the ‘Eye Spy’ books.”

There are toys mounted here, pieces of lawn furniture, and occasional additions or subtractions.

Gabriel grabs a plastic bowling pin and tugs, “You can tell people have already tried ripping these off, but that’s kind of part of the fun.”

It is a trash monster, but not a scary one.

Gabriel went for color and texture.

He left his big head hollow. Friedman said he might want to use that space.

“I thought about putting a nice little chair in here and reading, and sketching new ideas.”

As a permanent fixture in Scissortail Park and part of the changing fabric of downtown, it’s the most pleasant reminder of one of our most important challenges, to take care of this special place.

For more information on the Friedman’s sculpture or Scissortail Park, visit the Scissortail Park website.