"Alis Volat Propriis" or "We Fly with Our Own Wings" - CODAworx

“Alis Volat Propriis” or “We Fly with Our Own Wings”

Submitted by epiphany studios

Client: Oregon Justice Department

Location: Salem, OR, United States

Completion date: 2022

Project Team


David Boekelheide



Nathan Jobe


Project Manager/Public Art Consultant

Peg Butler


Meg Matsushima

Hennebery Eddy Architects

Structural Engineer

Kevin J. Nadolny



Using over 2,000 hot sculpted glass feathers and spanning 3-stories of the Oregon Supreme Court Building I conceptualized the meaning of “Justice”. In my work I investigate how parts come together to create a whole. Using repetitious forms derived from nature, coupled with a formal investigation of glass as a fluid material, and iconic signifiers, I made glass feathers to represent each of us and our unique diversity, with our own ideas, opinions, feelings, dreams, and how we come together as one under the rule of law.


What is the meaning of Justice? How are we represented as individuals and unified together under the rule of law? These are the questions I asked while creating this sculpture. I investigated the dual nature of Justice as objective (ideal) and a subjective (action). These dual natures are represented in our collective conscious as visual cues. We see the Eagle representing the objective ideal of Justice. Whether in our buildings, flags, or currency, it is ubiquitous, as is the symbol of Justitia, the blind woman holding scales, which depicts the subjective enactment of Justice.


Working closely with the art committee, architect, and engineers this project took over 14 months to bring to life. Each feather was individually hung onsite taking 3 weeks for the complete installation.

Additional Information

The title of this sculpture "Alis Volat Propriis" or "We Fly with Our Own Wings" is taken from the Oregon state motto. Often translated as feminine, I chose the inclusive pronoun “we” so all feel welcome to embrace the message of the artwork. In an imperfect world we hold ideals high and have our brightest minds use their best judgement to ensure everyone is served fairly. This is how, together, we fly with our own wings.