Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trash Art

Following the mantra reduce, reuse, recycle, there are plenty of people who reuse trash for practical applications. I find making art out of trash one of the most interesting -- taking discarded objects that have no value to one person, and transforming them into something most people would find beautiful.

A fantastic example is a program actually sponsored by
a garbage company, albeit one of the most progressive in North America. Recology (formerly known as Norcal Waste) is responsible for hauling San Francisco's garbage, recycling and compostables, and has an "Artists In Residence Program" at its transfer station: they provide 24-hour access to a well-equipped studio, a monthly stipend, and an exhibit at the end of their residency. They only stipulation is that the artists use materials gathered from San Francisco's refuse.

One of my favorite artists from the program is Nemo Gould, who was in residence in 2007. His sculpture of HiWheel bicycle (above) is composed of a discarded garlic press, bike brakes, melon scoops, a circular saw blade cover, rivets, a shot glass and fly wheels.

There is also a sculpture garden at the transfer station. Estelle Akamine's Ball Gown is particularly stunning (left). Recology claims this may be the only "art park" at a garbage company. Do you know of any others?

This program has been active for the past
18 years! Check out all of the creativity -- here's a full list of Artists In Residence at the San Francisco dump.

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