While I was at the Yard, Garden and Patio show yesterday, I crossed the street to see the recycled art show at Metro (Portland's government agency). Metro, along with Cracked Pots, are the organizations who sponsor the five artists each year in the gleaning residency at the city dump. Metro has one piece of art on permanent display from each of the glean artists in their downstairs and upstairs gallery. I finally got to see my piece (and everyone else's work) in this building.
The "downstairs gallery" where the work from the first year's artists is displayed.
The "upstairs gallery" is where the work for those of us in the second year residency is displayed. It's in a great area of the building...well lit...very visible.
Since they have already started the application process for another round of artists for year three, I'm wondering where they'll hang the new work next fall. I didn't see any other wall spaces available.
I haven't been to one of these "yard and garden" shows at the Convention Center in years, but decided that this might be one of those years to visit.
The "Crackedpots" people...the folks who sponsor the program for the five artists to glean at the city dump for six months each year...have their own booth again this year. They needed some samples of some of the art work that was created from all that trash that came from the city dump a few months ago to advertise the Glean Program. Several of my assemblage boxes made it to one of the tables...woohoo!! I'm not allowed to actually sell any of my pieces at this event (I'm not a paying participant), but I do get the benefit of displaying my work (more shameless promotion!), along with having my business cards available. A few photos from this three day weekend event:
By the way, I'm wearing one of my treasured "trashy clothing finds" from the city dump this past summer...a brand new Colombia Sportswear jacket. This was gleaning at its finest! And I've gotta' wonder...who would throw away a brand new jacket? If I hadn't found it, it would have ended up at a landfill.
This entire area of the show hall was dedicated to other artists who create from recycled materials:
Ben, one of season one's glean artists, along with Amy, the Glean Program director.
Since this was a "yard, garden and patio" show, there were a lot of other interesting things (displays, booths, vendors etc.) to see:
The five artists involved in the Glean Program (gleaning at the city dump for art materials) have published a book documenting our experiences while working for six months at the Metro Transfer Station (for more information on this program check out my very first blog here that I started several months ago). Special thanks to one of the artists, Chandra Glaeseman, for her work in getting this book put together. Have a look:
Called Back To Service!
The glean artists all got a "call back to service" about a week ago! The Cracked Pots organization (the local recycling group that sponsors us, etc.) was making their own video, and needed us to return to the city dump for some "action shots" in the trash. They brought in their own videographer for the event.
This was scheduled for yesterday at noon (Friday...a work day for most) at the Transfer Station, so I was the only artist able to show up. This completed video will be posted online sometime in the near future...I'll add the link here when it's ready.
I decided that I was going to make it another gleaning day, and showed up earlier in the morning before the video folks arrived. Yes, I've got more photos of the treasures that I found and brought home with me:
Some local printing company drove into the bay unloading "tons" of interesting printed materials.
There were large sheets of heavy paper...each of them having a plastic colored overlay that could be peeled off.
Once the plastic is peeled off, they look like large colored transparencies. I took several pounds of this material for myself...these will work well with some collage and assemblage work.
I also found these three vintage wooden drawers (possibly from some old library card catalog). These were really my BIG finds for the day...they are in super condition, with vintage hardware...and will make fantastic boxes.
I will also be able to use this fantastic old book of Oregon forest maps:
And...a few things that I left at the dump:
Office chairs...lots of them...in great condition (almost new)...thrown away! What a waste. I didn't take any of these for myself.
Rolls of new upholstery fabric...it will all go to the landfill, unfortunately.
One frozen turkey!
A quick final update on our show at Disjecta Gallery...I sold these nine pieces:
This piece ended up being "banned" from the show at the last minute...Metro (Portland's regional government body...and also one of our sponsors) doesn't allow any kinds of public displays of religious icons. I'm actually kind of glad that I got to keep it...it's one of my favorite pieces.
Amy, our glean administrator, has put in a request that the five artists be allowed to go back to the Metro Transfer Station to glean informally even though the program for this year is now over. I may (or may not) go back another time or two to find additional materials that I can work into my projects.
I’ve come to the end of my six month journey of digging through tons of trash at the city dump. Someone asked me how this experience has changed me. I really don’t think that I’ve been “changed” much at all. I’ve never had any deep, visceral reactions to all garbage that I’ve “touched” through the months. In fact, as a young child going out to the small town dump with my dad, I quickly realized that there were amazing “treasures” to be found at every turn. I do recognize that “trash” is, indeed, a part of our throw-away society. I also recognize that I’ve been part of an amazingly creative “Glean Dream Team” program designed not only to keep some of that garbage from heading to our landfills, but also to allow us to seriously begin to think about where we are headed in our need to discard the many artifacts from our daily lives. As Amy Wilson, our glean project coordinator so aptly stated, we’ve been “ambassadors working in the belly of the beast.” You can have one final look at all of us in that “beast’s belly” in this video made by a videographer from San Francisco (Micah Gibson) who had previously been one of the artists in their glean program.
I will continue to occasionally add to this blog, but it will obviously move away from the glean program. I’m in the process of doing a “thorough” cleaning of my garage/studio, and have already started the process of handing off many “trash treasures” to other artists. I’ve decided that I can’t keep everything that I’ve collected, nor do I want to. Pushing all my art aside for the time being, I’ll be off to New York City soon, and headed up the coast of eastern Canada to visit a part of the country that I’ve never seen before. The big international art show this winter in Miami Beach (Miami Basel) is calling to me. I’m eager to go once again to see what other “recycled” artists around the world are doing with their trash.
And now...I’m thinking that it’s time to throw away these leather gloves!
My completed body of work, with all materials having been gleaned from the Metro Transfer Station over the last six months:
The work is now at our group show at Disjecta Gallery, Portland, OR, through the end of Sept. 2012.
Metro, Portland's regional governmental body (also a "sponsor" of the Glean Program), has been highlighting each of the five artists in their weekly newsletter. My turn just came up...someone on their staff wrote a fantastic review!
Meet the GLEAN Artists:
What do you get when you send five artists dressed in safety gear into a room for six months to sift through a steady stream of trash? The answer will be revealed at GLEAN, an environmental art exhibit at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center of Portland. The goal of the show, slated to run from Sept. 14 through 30, is to prompt people to think about how to create more and waste less.
Greg Hanson is a mixed media assemblage artist who likes to document his work online with in-process photographs; he also makes short videos on a YouTube channel with more than 800 subscribers. Orchestrating relationships between incongruous objects, Hanson says of his art, "it's all about being able to play as an adult." And play he does!
Blogging about his discoveries at the Metro Central transfer station, Hanson's excitement jumps from the page – "pianos everywhere," he exclaims upon finding the third "somewhat twisted remains" of one. Fascinated by its handmade materials, he strips its parts to use leaving only an empty shell.
Viewing his work as "breathing life into others' old memories," Hanson expresses surprise to discover a scrapbook dating back to the early 1900s. "The book is really quite well preserved. I certainly don't understand why this treasure was so easily tossed away," he says. Its hand-written diary entries and photographs document the story of a young bride and her marriage and honeymoon in 1911. "I'm grateful that I was able to retrieve it in those mounds of trash. This was truly a gift," he says.
GLEAN is a public, private, nonprofit partnership between Metro, the regional government that guides the region’s garbage and recycling system; Recology, an employee-owned company that manages resource recovery facilities; and Cracked Pots, an environmental arts group that manages the program. Now in its second year, GLEAN takes its inspiration from Recology San Francisco’s renowned artist in residence program.
The artists, selected by a jury of arts and environmental professionals, include Andrew Auble, Chandra Glaeseman, Greg Hanson, Jennifer LaMastra and Sarah Wolf Newlands. Reflecting the diversity of talent in the Portland region’s creative class, the group consists of instructors at area art schools, graduates of well-known universities and an art therapist. They are award winning professionals whose works have been in solo and group shows – locally and nationally.
Their work ranges from sculpture to mixed media assemblage to wearable art. They use modern and archaic forms, altering the commonplace into non-traditional and sometimes formal compositions.
The process of creating pieces and the transformation going on in the artists and their studios is compelling stuff. The artists have a blog and frequently muse about their adventures and experiences.
It was one GREAT show last night. I got there early to take some photos before the gallery filled with people:
Good friends, family and guests started to arrive:
By the time I left last night, I had sold several pieces. I'll post an individual photo of each piece in tomorrow's blog...stay tuned!
We gather at Disjecta Gallery this evening for the big finale of our Glean residency...five artists and six months of digging for trash at the Metro Transfer Station...materials taken directly from the city dump that would come home with us to our studios to be converted into art!
We had a second day of "hanging art" yesterday. Everything is now ready for the gala opening show. I thought I'd add a few more of those photos:
We started the process of hanging our work at the gallery yesterday at noon. We are sharing a space within the gallery with another show (with a large wall dividing us). Our space seemed so large (and empty) when we first met there six months ago to check out the place! Now that all five artists are bringing their completed work together, the size illusion has changed, and we seem to be crowding into a smaller space. A few photos from the hanging event (you should be able to click on each photo to enlarge):
I put all my boxes out on the floor to begin the process of grouping everything together. If you are a "gallery purist" this hanging technique would probably not be your kind of thing. To help in the sharing of our space, I think my own little wall area of assemblages is fairly cohesive, and a little "tight," but it works well for me. It was more difficult than what I thought it would be...nothing like hanging a few pieces of art on my own living rooms walls, etc. I am going back again today to tweak any of my final issues, help the other artists, and take a few more photos.
Because of the volume of stuff that I've brought home from the city dump in the last six months to use for potential assemblage pieces, I've now reached the point where I've started to weed out some of those trashy treasures. I need to reclaim my garage-studio to some degree, and get rid of some of this stuff before the cameras from "Extreme Hoarders" show up at my door.
These three boxes are filled with the kinds of things that every assemblage artist dreams about (yeah, right!). I'll be passing these initial offerings on to some other artists.
I think this is just the tip of the iceberg...there's certainly more stuff that needs to leave my garage.
Big day for the five artists today...we meet at Disjecta Gallery to hang our work!