One of Mike's pieces from last year, using trash gleaned from the dump:
Jen's review was just published:
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.
Meet Jennifer LaMastra, a wearable art sculptor who believes that the entire process of collecting, altering, sculpting and wearing non-traditional materials is a practice of paying attention. An active participant in Portland’s popular Junk to Funk Fashion Show since 2006, LaMastra’s work has been exhibited in several group and solo shows, including a six-month billing for her wears at the Portland International Airport.
With a background in design and technical theater, as well as cosmetology and physical theater, LaMastra’s enthusiasm for scavenging through discards at Metro Central is palpable. Trying to balance her "forbidden love" for materials with a "massively ambitious to-do list," she works late into the night using a new Babylock sewing machine. LaMastra freely admits to "creative entanglements" with VHS tapes, bicycle tire tubes, window screening and rusted pages of an old dictionary. In her words, she is "rescuing these historic gems" and "honoring those that lived and have been forgotten." She is excited to share her new collection in September and warns, it is going to be "definitely over the top!"
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.