Becky Borlan is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on public art, urban space, and landscape interventions. With a BFA in sculpture from New College of Florida, she began her public art career in Boston, where she managed sculptor Janet Echelman’s studio from 2010 to 2013. After moving to Washington DC, Borlan supervised public art infrastructure projects for artist Steven Weitzman. In 2014, she launched B+B LAB to focus on her own art practice.
Moving fluidly between mediums and materials, Borlan seeks to create new hybrids and ways of approaching art-making. She has constructed numerous temporary public art installations in the DC metro area, been artist in residence at the Anacostia Arts Center, and most recently completed her first permanent sculpture installation, a suspended work for Marie Reed Elementary school in Washington DC.
At the core of my practice is the desire to recognize the potential in overlooked public spaces. My installations activate and appreciate these sites, prompting viewers to participate more with the urban landscape they encounter everyday. I approach each site as a unique entity and look for ways that artwork can inspire wonder, increase public engagement, and foster community.
I'm unconstrained by attachment to particular materials or medium, instead exploring different options inspired by each individual site, and often working outside the realm of traditional sculpture material. To execute my vision, I often work collaboratively with other artists and craftspeople. My work is characterized by exuberant use of color, and informed by geometric or repeated motifs. The sculptures I create are playful and whimsical but spring from an exploration of deeper conceptual themes that surround a site: history, culture, ecology.
Art reveals a creative, historical side to Foggy Bottom neighborhood, Washington Post
Becky Borlan’s “Bricks” reflects the history of masonry in Foggy Bottom. Bold and colorful, the piece depicts a brick wall, albeit one made entirely of transparent acrylic.
(e)merge art fair at the Capitol Skyline Hotel, Washington Post
The work — called “Too Much Is Never Enough,” after the title of Lapidus’s autobiography — is meant to be fun, not heavy, Borlan says. “I think [Lapidus] really, really believed that phrase,” she says. “He gilded the lily, and then he added another bouquet.”
My technique is more fluid. Depending on the project, I’m either responding to a particular site or material, sometimes both. So I try to let that guide the creative process. With public art, there are usually certain constraints inherent to the situation, and I actually enjoy figuring out how to work within them because it keeps me on my toes. It forces me to look beyond the obvious answers.