This is the big "video day" for those of us working in the glean program. With the help of a videographer from our sister program in San Francisco, we are in the process of making a video that documents who we are as artists, and our directions with the reuse of trash for our projects. The video "team" is making the rounds today going from studio to studio...I was first in line this morning. The camera man set up his equipment in my studio garage and we did a lengthy interview which will eventually be edited down to a couple minutes along with the interviews of all the other artists. We are meeting at the city dump again this afternoon for some video shots in the trash off-loading area itself...I'll include some of those photos tomorrow. We gather later this evening for a big party at one of the other artist's homes in Portland.
I've found a beautiful old photo/memory/scrapbook at the dump that dates back to the early 1900's. It's a hand-written diary with photos written by a young bride documenting her marriage and honeymoon in 1911.
This book seems to have some interesting historical importance as the couple lived here in Portland, Oregon at the time, but traveled to the coast for their honeymoon. The author describes (in beautiful penmanship) their mode of travel (at one point having to ride on the back of a farmer's lumber wagon), as well as their eating and shopping adventures, and hunting and fishing on the Oregon coast. The book is well preserved...I truly don't understand why this treasure was tossed away. I'm grateful that I was able to actually find it in those mountains of trash.
At the beginning of the book, this young bride's first words:
"Diary of Our Wedding Trip
Beginning Sept. 6 - 1911 to Sept. 20 - 1911"
"O, the toils of life!
How small they seem, when love's resistless tide
Sweeps brightly o'er them! Like the scattered stones
Within a mountain streamlet, they but serve
To strike the hidden music of its flow
And make its sparkle visible."
A few scanned samples of some of the pages:
Our group show postcard has now been printed with a small sample of each artist's work on the front...information about the show on the back.
I've completed two new pieces in the last few days with all objects, frames, photos, etc. coming directly from my gleaning work at the Metro Transfer Station.
I found another old foosball game at the dump. I'm really liking the little plastic players, and have used them in a couple of my most recent boxes (#56 and #52). These games are fairly easy to break apart with a hammer and screwdriver. I tore it apart once I got it back to our work area at the Transfer Station.
I took a quick photo of this "river" of old carpeting that was off-loaded onto the floor of the bay...all of it destined for the landfill.
Some of the common kinds of things that seem to make their way to the dump are the various kinds of building samples that come from home decorating showrooms...tiles, flooring, etc. These often have lots of potential for me in my work, but I find that I'm often particularly interested in the containers that they come in. I ended up keeping none of these tile samples (leaving them for the other artists), but quickly grabbed the little suitcase-type cases that I could use as "boxes" to hold my own work.
Unfortunately, even when I set these cool tile samples aside for one of the other artists to take, they are sometimes (often) not taken. If no one else has an interest in them, they are destined to be thrown into the steel trash bin that we have in our work area and will then head to the landfill in eastern Oregon.
One of the two empty cases that I kept...ready to be used for an assemblage:
Part 2 Recycled Art at the Crackedpots Art Fair July 24, 2012
One of the things that I enjoyed about my four hours at the recycled art fair was that my "question and answer and display" booth was right next to the Free Glean Pile! I got to watch the excitement of all the folks who gathered here to claim some free "thing" that had originally been gleaned from the Metro Transfer Station (the city dump). We five artists had helped to gather and donate things (the kinds of things that we knew we wouldn't be using in our art projects) and the board members did the same thing last weekend during their "gleaning weekend." The garden seeds that I had found several days ended up being quite a hit, but not those brand new t-shirts.
I think everyone was quite amazed at the quality and variety of stuff (new stuff) that was being given away at this booth...all of it actually having been recently thrown away at the dump.
Later in the afternoon, as three of the other artists arrived for their scheduled appointments at our booth, we paused for some quick photos:
From the left...Jen, me, Sarah and Chandra. Our last artist, Andrew arrived after I had left...we didn't get him in our group photo.
Jen, just setting up with some of her latest pieces, including a new wearable fashion made from crocheted video tape...pretty cool !
Recycled Art at the Crackedpots Art Fair
July 24, 2012
Amy Wilson (glean program coordinator) and myself!
The five of us artists involved with the Glean Program took turns at our glean booth yesterday for the first day of the art fair. We had lots of interesting questions from folks wondering who we were, what we did at the city dump, and what kinds of art we were creating from those treasures we are finding during our six month project. With our beautiful Oregon weather, I worked the first shift from noon to 4 PM, and then had time to walk around the area to see the work of the many other local artists who were creating art from "trash."
Some of those artists and their work:
The big two day event is here! I will be at the art fair tomorrow from noon to 4 PM at the special "gleaning in the dump" booth. I'll have some of my recent work with me...those pieces made specifically from "stuff" I've collected at the city dump in the last several weeks, as well as samples of some of those cool gleaned materials that I've been using. I'll be there to answer any questions that you might have about this amazing art grant that allows artists into the Metro Transfer Station for six months. I won't be selling anything tomorrow, however...all the artists in this gleaning program will be showing their work at Disjecta Gallery in mid September...more information to follow. The other four artists will also be present at various times tomorrow afternoon and into the evening.
I found a neatly packaged, plastic bag filled with these cub scout artifacts...the books, the badges and the neckerchiefs. I had to wonder, once again, how and why these things ended up at the dump. There was a time when these items would have been saved as precious memories of some boy's passage through childhood. I had no idea how to weave any of these things into my work...I left the bag in our work area for one of the other artists to ponder. This was a reminder of the dollhouse that I found several days ago
T-Shirts In The Trash
I generally don't take any clothing or other fabric kinds of things from the dump, but I made an exception with these t-shirts. Someone had off-loaded dozens of t-shirts...all sizes and all brand new and very clean. I grabbed all of them, hauled them over to our work area, stacked them, and packed them into boxes for the Cracked Pots Art Fair (next week...more information coming on that). The "crackedpots" people are the ones who sponsor the five artists in this six month art grant. They did all the foot work in getting us into the Metro Transfer Station (the city dump) to glean for art materials. They also have their own art fair each summer which highlights many artists from around the area who work with recycled kinds of materials. They actually set up a "freebie" area at their fair where they give away stuff that has been gleaned from the dump. The crackedpots board members are gleaning at the dump this weekend, gathering as much as they can for their freebie table. This is "their" week at the dump...the regular five artists aren't allowed into the facility this weekend. I've been helping to add to their "freebie collection" by setting aside gleaned "stuff" for them...the kinds of things that none of us artists would probably end up using in our own work. Thus, these new t-shirts (along with all those seed packets and many other misc. kinds of things) are going into their hands...all to be given away during the two-day event next week.