Recology Artist in Residence Program Newsletter

Posted in Recology, San Francisco by make art on March 21, 2013

Current Resident Artists

The studio’s welding gear has been fired up for our current two artists-in-residence, Benjamin Cowden and Ian Treasure. Both artists make mechanical sculptures, though they vary in their use of materials–Benjamin leans toward metalwork and Ian brings everyday objects such as phones and umbrellas to life. Currently, Benjamin is working on a wing-like piece that utilizes a windshield wiper motor, and Ian has pulled out a group of old wooden school desks–with chewing gum and graffiti intact. Student artist Hannah Quinn is using the shipping container behind the Environmental Learning Center as her studio and is working on a series of stools and benches, as well as re-imagined tools. The exhibition for Benjamin, Ian, and Hannah will take place May 17, 18, and 21.

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The Art of Recology to open at the
San Francisco International Airport Museum

We are pleased to announce that The Art of Recology will open March 16 in the United Terminal at the San Francisco International Airport. The exhibition presents over one-hundred pieces made by forty-five artists during their residencies at Recology. Artwork was selected by airport curators and will be on exhibition through October 27. The Art of Recology is located past security so can only be viewed by those traveling, but if you find yourself flying United soon, allow some extra time to view the exhibition.

Artists selected for third year of GLEAN

In February, five artists were selected to receive 2013 GLEAN residencies. This is the third year of the Portland, Oregon-based program which has been developed collaboratively by Recology; Cracked Pots, Inc., an environmental arts organization; and Metro, the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area. Residency recipients are Kim Lakin, Owen Premore, Eric Rosewall, Christopher Wagner, and Vicki Wilson. The artists will scavenge for materials at the Portland Transfer Station to make artwork for an exhibition to take place August 16 at Disjecta. To follow the artists’ progress, visit their blog:


Chinese New Year Parade

This is the eighth year that Daisy, the Recology dragon, has wowed crowds for the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade. Designed and constructed by former artist-in-residence Dana Albany along with Flash Hopkins, Haideen Anderson and Tom Kennedy, the twenty-foot-long dragon is made with an eclectic mix of recycled materials and illuminated with LEDs. The sight of Daisy prompted watchers of the February 23rd parade to spontaneously break out in chants of “recycle! recycle! recycle!”


Don’t Let Us Become Spam!

In the future, emails from the Recology Artist in Residence Program will come from art. Please add us to your approved list of senders so you don’t miss important announcements and news about our program.

Earth Day Exhibition at the San Francisco Federal Building

Art from Recology’s artists-in-residence will be on exhibition from April 20 to June 20 at the San Francisco Federal Building at Mission and 7th streets. This is the third year that artwork from the program has been featured in conjunction with the building’s Earth Day celebrations.

Alumni News

In February, Nathaniel Stookey’s String Quartet No. 3, The Mezzanine, performed by the Kronos Quartet, had its world premiere at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Christine Lee serves as lead artist for the exhibition By-product Becomes Product at Intersection for the Arts. Open through March 30, the exhibition presents work by artists who were provided excess wood waste to explore safer alternatives to working with toxic materials. Artworks by Julia Goodman, Barbara Holmes, and Scott Oliver–all former Recology artists-in-residence–are included in the exhibition ( Abel Rodriguez is presenting work in a group exhibition open through March 24 at the Fort Worth Drawing Center in Fort Worth, Texas ( He will also be exhibiting in San Antonio, Texas during the Contemporary Arts Month (CAM2013) ( Suzanne Husky is currently at a residency at La Cuisine in Negrepelisse, France. Barbara Holmes will be an artist-in-residence at the Capital City Arts Initiative in Carson City, Nevada in May. She will have an exhibition of her work at St. Mary’s Art Center in Virginia City in June, with an opening reception June 1st. Niki Ulehla’s solo exhibition at the Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica is up through March 30. The exhibition continues the work she did while an artist-in-residence at Recology and presents puppets for the second half of Dante’s Inferno. A live performance was part of the opening reception ( Val Britton’s solo exhibition Intimate Immensity will be on view through May 18 at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art ( Paula Pereira has been collaborating with Swedish artist Pernilla Andersson for the past three years, creating handcut vinyl on wood, floors, and ceilings ( They will be artists-in-residence in Trondheim, Norway for the months of June/July with an exhibition at Babel Gallery in Trondheim in June. Julia Goodman will be participating in Southern Exposure’s fundraiser art auction Parade on March 23 ( She is also in Space Time!an exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento, open through March 31 ( James Sansing’s film Verses will be in the San Francisco International Film Festival. Viviana Paredes is the first artist to be featured in the Galería de la Raza’s “Studio 24 Presents,” a series of window installations and displays by local artists. Parades work will be on view through May 31 (ç=view&id=4018). Lori Kay’s REcycle, REuse, cREate, is one of three inaugural exhibitions taking place at the Peninsula Museum of Art in Burlingame. The museum celebrates its grand opening Saturday March 16, and Lori’s exhibition will run from March 16 to July 14 ( Not quite yet an alumni (her residency does not begin until October), Kristin Cammermeyer, will participate in the Kinkead Pop-Up Residency in Los Angeles, March 23-May 5. Says Kristin, “It is particularly interesting to me because the intention of the stay (besides making my work) is to have 1-2 events per week with the public invited to participate in any range of events that I have programmed. They will range from informal salons to reading groups to walking tours of construction sites to film screenings.” For more information: (


Art at the Dump announcement: 2013 Residency Recipients

Posted in Recology, Resource Recovery, San Francisco, You Should Know... by make art on December 6, 2012

Art at the Dump: Recology San Francisco Artist in Residence Program Announces 2013 Residency Recipients

Recology San Francisco is pleased to announce recipients of artist residencies for 2013. The six selected artists are Kristin Cammermeyer, Benjamin Cowden, Chad Hasegawa, Yulia Pinkusevich, Stephanie Syjuco, and Ian Treasure.

The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco is a one-of-a-kind initiative started in 1990 to support Bay Area artists while teaching children and adults about recycling and resource conservation. Artists work for four months in a studio space on site and use materials recovered from the Public Disposal and Recycling Area. Over ninety-five professional Bay Area artists have completed residencies. Applications are accepted annually in August.

Finding Inspiration in the Dumps

Guest blogger Carrie Gaydos is the Community Manager for writes about an eye-opening trip to the San Francisco “dump.” VonChurch will be hosting Project Zero in Jan. 2013—a month-long commitment to create zero landfill-destined waste.

VonChurch staff admiring a curiosity made from waste at the recology sf transfer station

VonChurch, Inc., a San Francisco Green Business, is taking staff environmental education to heart. VonChurch is a recruiting firm working exclusively in the digital entertainment industry. Fueled by the passion to create and play, their culture is an elusive balance of focus and imagination. On August 17th, their “Work Hard | Play Harder” mindset and wild imagination lead them to a bizarre and unexpected place.

The Recology San Francisco transfer station is a piece of the on-going environmental initiatives in the city. A field trip there seemed to be in order. VonChurch staff wanted to look at the reality of San Francisco waste in the eye. The city of San Francisco has got a solid handle on resource recovery, wasting far less than the national average and creating nutrient-rich compost from food scraps and plant material for local farms and vineyards. VonChurch visited the facility to experience the truth behind what we toss out. A little dirt and grime-filled experiential learning experience, we hoped, would get staff to recycle, compost, waste less in the office, and to put a halt to bad habits and trashy behavior.

Recology SF art studio

The two-hour tour consisted of a workshop on recycling and sustainability, a trip to the Art Studio to meet the current Artist in Residence at Recology San Francisco, a stop at the Household Hazard Waste facility, an unforgettable visit to the transfer station, a walk through the Sculpture Garden, and an enlightening video detailing the works of Recycle Central® at Pier 96.

It was an eye-opening experience. VonChurch employee, Nate Rhodes, described the tour as being “…really informative. I think it gave me a new perspective on how important it is to make an individual effort to compost, recycle, and to take the time to clean and deposit everything in its proper place. And the amount of effort it takes for Recology to operate for one day… fascinating stuff really.”

Another employee, Lisa Newton, went on to explain, “the SF Recology Center is a very interesting place. One-of-a-kind, to say the least! It’s home to one of the coolest art studios and gardens I have ever seen, while storing the smelliest and dirtiest trash I have ever been in contact with. Beyond the art exhibits, there are gorgeous falcons flying around, providing a humane form of seagull management. Never in a million years would I have thought that I would enjoy a dump as much as I enjoyed [Recology San Francisco’s transfer station].” We recommend the tour to any local business trying to educate and mobilize their staff to take action for the benefit of the environment.

salvaged from the landfill

VonChurch, Inc. is striving to work simpler and lighter on the planet; maintaining a compassionate, symbiotic relationship with the Earth is in their nature. After the tour, company CEO, Alex Churchill said, “I think this worked. I have noticed more people making the effort to compost and recycle.”

In January 2013, VonChurch will be undertaking an original program called, Project Zero, in which the collective staff will pledge to produce zero waste for the entire month.

It ain’t easy being green… but it is worth it.

VonChurch established and utilizes the VonEarth Committee to facilitate and organize mass, internal environmental initiatives and communication/environmental education. Their mission is:

To be mindful of the impact we have on the environment is a fundamental element of the VonChurch psyche. The VonEarth Committee was established to guide and unite VonChurch, to work simpler and lighter on the planet. Fueled by the passion to create and play, our culture is an elusive balance of focus and imagination. Maintaining a compassionate, symbiotic relationship with the Earth is in our nature.


Posted in Events, Portland, Recology, Resource Recovery by make art on August 31, 2012

The GLEAN Program is a private, public, nonprofit partnership between Recology, an employee-owned resource recovery company; Metro, the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area that oversees the garbage and recycling system; and Cracked Pots, an environmental arts group.

Now in its second year, GLEAN takes its inspiration from the Artist-in-Residence Program at Recology San Francisco. The goal of the GLEAN program is to inspire creative reuse and promote public conversation about how we can create more and waste less.

The artists, selected by a jury of arts and environmental professionals, include Andrew Auble, Chandra Glaeseman, Greg Hanson, Jennifer LaMastra and Sarah Wolf Newlands. For the past six months, artists have had access to the Metro Central Transfer Station to gather materials that they have used for their work which ranges from sculpture to mixed media assemblage to wearable art.

To learn more about the artists and their experience, check out this video:

To learn more about the program and get details about the upcoming exhibition, go to

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Recology San Francisco Group Exhibition and SF Beautiful Awards

Posted in Events, Recology, San Francisco by make art on July 17, 2012

Recology Group Exhibition at Catharine Clark Gallery + SF Beautiful Awards

Catharine Clark Gallery’s Summer Group Exhibition presents the work of six former Recology artists-in-residence. The exhibition runs from July 21 to August 25, with an opening reception on Saturday, July 21, from 4-6pm. Exhibiting artists: Donna Anderson Kam, Terry Berlier, Lauren DiCioccio, Barbara Holmes, Scott Kildall, and Abel Rodriguez.


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San Francisco Beautiful will host the 41st Annual Beautification Awards on Friday, July 27, from 7-10pm. The Recology Artist in Residence Program is an award nominee, and work from the Program’s collection will be on exhibition. The event takes place in the Drill Court of the Armory Community Center, an enormous space which will house food trucks, a beer garden, rickshaws, and live music. The event is free, but reservations are required. sfblogoround.png

Come Celebrate Barbara Holmes’ Installation

Posted in Events, Recology, San Francisco, You Should Know... by make art on March 15, 2012


1045 Mission Street (between 6th & 7th St), San Francisco, CA


Reception- Friday, March 23, 5-8pm
Exhibition viewable in storefront windows 24-hours a day, February 20-April 30, 2012

Admission is free and open to the public, all ages welcome, wheelchair accessible.

Former Recology San Francisco artist-in-residence Barbara Holmes has used the 100-foot-long exhibition space at 1045 Mission Street to create a massive installation composed of lath scavenged from the public dump. Holmes began working with lath, the material used with plaster to create walls in early 20th century buildings, during her 2008 artist residency at Recology San Francisco. Since then, she has continued to work with the material that she installs fanning up and down walls and twisting over floors in venues including the Petaluma Arts Center.The current work at 1045 Mission Street is the largest and most complex installation that Holmes has constructed. It can be viewed 24 hours a day in the storefront window space. A reception for the artist will be held on March 23 from 5-8pm. Holmes received a MFA from San Diego State University and is currently an adjunct professor in the furniture department at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She has exhibited at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, and the Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Her work is in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.As an artist-in-residence at Recology San Francisco in 2008, she first began working with garden trellis and lath, building formal wall pieces with a sculptural and geometric component. Says Holmes,

“I believe the emotional state of awe and wonder is an essential part of human experience. As an artist I enjoy transforming and recontexualizing materials, often reworking the ubiquitous into something unfamiliar and the banal into something unique. By making objects that thwart easy definition, I create an open environment to encounter the work while experiencing something novel. Using waste material that is often untidy and muddled in appearance and redeeming it into a carefully crafted object is a pleasurable part of my process, altering prior cast-offs into something of value and beauty, an act of optimism.”

Exhibitions at 1045 Mission Street are a collaboration between the Recology Artist in Residence Program and SOMA Residencies. Artwork is made by former Recology artists-in-residence from materials that San Franciscans have thrown away.The Artist in Residence Program at Recology San Francisco is a one-of-a-kind initiative started in 1990 to support Bay Area artists while teaching children and adults about recycling and resource conservation. Artists work for four months in a studio space on site and use materials recovered from the Public Disposal Area. Over ninety professional Bay Area artists have completed residencies. Applications are accepted annually in August.
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Art at the Dump Newsletter

Posted in Recology, San Francisco by make art on November 3, 2011

It’s been a busy summer for the Recology San Francisco Artist in Residence Program. We’ve been involved with the establishment of a new art program in Portland, Oregon, have installed several off-site exhibitions, and processed the close to one-hundred applications we received for the next residency cycle. Perhaps you saw us on the SF Art Commission’s Culture Wire Program while flying on Virgin America, or walking the Pride Parade route dressed as a slice of pizza, encouraging you to compost? Whatever the summer held for you, we hope it was enjoyable. Fall means school tours for us, so we are back in the thick of it, teaching San Francisco’s 3rd–6th graders how to recycle and reuse, introducing them to the artists, and showing them “the stinkiest building in the world!” (The garbage transfer station.)

New Resident Artists

New artists Donna Anderson Kam and Terry Berlier began their residencies October 1. Donna has been diligently collecting pastels, crayons, and any big piece of paper that comes through the dump to create her large-scale drawings that present scenes taken from news headlines. Terry, who just returned from Washington DC where an exhibition featuring her work was profiled in a BBC article (, has begun gathering materials for her kinetic sculptures. We are also happy to welcome new student artist Ethan Estess. Ethan is a graduate student at Stanford University in an interdisciplinary environmental science program where he studies science communication, mechanical engineering, and studio art. Mark your calendars for their end of residency exhibition on January 20 and 21.

Pacific Northwest Art Program (PNAP)

On September 15 and 16 over 400 people attended the first exhibition of work from Recology Portland’s new art program at the city’s Metro Regional Center. The Pacific Northwest Art Program (PNAP) is a collaborative project developed by Recology; Cracked Pots, Inc., an environmental arts organization; and Metro, the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area. Ben Dye, Jen Fuller, William Rihel, Mike Suri, and Leslie Vigeant were the artists selected for the first year of the program, which has as its goal the promotion of new ways of thinking about resource conservation, art, and the environment. View artwork they produced during their residencies here.

2012 Applicants

We are currently reviewing applications for our 2012 residency cycle. Our board will select candidates for interviews and chooses residency recipients in November, so look for our announcement of new resident artists in December.

Recycled Tote Bags

Recology has put old uniforms to good use by turning them into tote bags. The bags were designed by Debi Fong at UPsicle and made locally in collaboration with SFMade. Each bag costs $40 (including tax) and can be purchased through us. They feature the name of the employee who wore the uniform, and are pretty darn stylish!

Off-Site Exhibitions

We are sad to say goodbye to artists Lauren DiCioccio, Abel Rodriguez, and Kaiya Rainbolt who completed their residencies at the end of September and made the most of their four months, producing incredible work and bringing some super positive energy to the facility. If you weren’t able to attend their exhibition, it has been re-installed in the windows at 1045 Mission Street in the SOMA Residences building and will be up through the holidays. Don’t miss this second chance to see their work.

We were invited by WEAD (Women Environmental Artists Directory) to present an exhibition of “Art from the Dump” at the annual Bioneers Conference at the Marin Center from October 14-16. The conference, whose attendees come from around the world, featured a range of speakers (including Gloria Steinem and Phillipe Cousteau) and events that focus on global environmental issues.

Don’t miss our rotating exhibitions in the Chronicle Building Café sponsored by Intersection for the Arts, open 7am to 5pm at 100 5th Street.

Art at the Dump Newsletter

Posted in Recology, You Should Know... by make art on July 8, 2011
This is the first installment of the Artist in Residence Program newsletter, an email update we will send out three times a year to provide news and announcements. If you’re like us, you receive a lot of email (sometimes too much). We think three additional messages are probably not too overwhelming, but if you would prefer to only receive our exhibition announcements, please let us know.

New Resident Artists


We are happy to welcome artists Lauren DiCioccio and Abel Rodriguez to Recology. They began their residencies on June 1st, and have already had an incredibly productive first few weeks. We’re also fortunate to have student artist, Kaiya Rainbolt working here in the shipping container studio behind the Environmental Learning Center. All three artists will have their culminating exhibition/reception on September 23rd and 24th, so mark your calendars!

Habitat Restoration Project

img_7904.jpgThe Artist in Residence Program has worked with volunteers from the Garden for the Environment to replant the area in front of the Environmental Learning Center with Bay Area native plants. Many of the plants are indigenous to nearby San Bruno Mountain, and the garden design reflects different local habitat zones. Compost and mulch have come from our composting facility, and we’ve even incorporated recycled rocks into the design. A celebration of the completion of the garden will be part of the September 24th/25th art exhibition. An enormous thanks to Maria Acosta, Opal Essence, Nick Gardner, Garden for the Environment , Rana Creek Nursery, and Save the Bay for making this project possible.


Call for Artists

We are now accepting applications for 2012 residencies. Applications are due September 2nd, and are downloadable from our website: . Application requirements and procedures are also provided there. All applicants must first take a tour of our facility, so please note that monthly third Saturday tours will take place July 16th and August 20th.

Off-Site Exhibitions

We are pleased to be working with Intersection for the Arts to present artwork from our permanent collection in the Chronicle Building Café. The Café is open from 7am to 5pm and is at 100 5th Street. On your next visit to Intersection, take a little detour around the corner and see what’s happening in the Café!


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recreate, an exhibition of more than thirty works from the Recology permanent collection, will run until November 4th at San Francisco City College’s Rosenberg Library. For directions and hours:

Artwork is also on exhibition at the San Francisco EPA offices, and starting July 5th we will have a four-month-long exhibition of artwork in the lobby of the Philip Burton Federal Building. Work is viewable during normal business hours.

Art at the Dump Christina Mazza & Erik Otto

Posted in Recology, San Francisco by make art on January 9, 2010

Recology is pleased to announce a two-day art exhibition and reception for local artists Christina Mazza and Erik Otto. The exhibition will feature two separate bodies of work including drawings, paintings, and installations inspired by and created out of salvaged materials found during each artists’ four-month residency at San Francisco’s city dump.

Redemption by Christina Mazza
The Last Shall Be First by Erik Otto

Friday, January 22, 2010, 5pm to 9pm
Saturday, January 23, 2010, 1pm to 5pm

503 Tunnel Ave. San Francisco, CA 94134

Christina Mazza, Redemption

A focal point of Christina Mazza’s exhibition is a large mural in the center of the gallery depicting matted strips of white packing paper recovered from a collection of vintage Chinese lantern boxes. Mazza reproduced her findings as an abstracted pattern on the wall. Along with her mural, Mazza has focused on creating intricate drawings of ropes, cords, and twisted metal. Using found materials for her canvases, Mazza delighted over a graffiti-marred wooden tabletop, rusted metal cooking trays, and vintage book jackets as exciting surfaces to draw and paint on.

Although Mazza’s materials vary, everything she collected during her residency offered her a compelling opportunity to work with texture, form, and line. Themes of rejection as well as redemption appear throughout her work as she searched for beauty in discarded material. In regards to her selection process during the residency, Mazza remarked, “every rejected item I’ve drawn is meant to be closely examined. In doing so, the discarded object is acknowledged by the viewer and therefore redeemed.”

Her impeccable drawings are completed with ballpoint pen, pencil, or gouache, and present singular objects taken out of context from an often tangled conglomerate of disposed material. In regards to her technique, Mazza stated, “I work with the most humble and basic of implements. Using these common tools, I create sensitive, exquisitely-detailed and somewhat abstracted works that not only cause us to look at the environment around us differently, but also help us to closely examine ourselves and our own impact on that environment.” Her precision and realistic drawing style demands that we take a closer look at everyday objects. By highlighting a rope, or a pile of shredded paper, Mazza focuses on fragility and the individual beauty of objects that often go unnoticed. To accompany her drawings, she also produced an installation and a short collaborative video to document her memorable experience at the Dump.

Erik Otto, The Last Shall Be First

A Bay Area native, Erik Otto studied illustration and animation at San Jose State University. He is committed to drawing, painting, and constructing large installations using a variety of materials and surfaces. The amount of material available to Otto during his four-month residency at the Dump was both stimulating and inspiring.

In his exhibition, The Last Shall Be First, Otto calls attention to objects and materials that have been forgotten and disregarded. He incorporated house paint, spray paint, stenciling, collage and screen-printing in his artwork and through his creative process, regenerated these materials, turning waste into art. Through his homage to trash, Otto brings new spirit to old things and reminds us that thrown away and forgotten items can be salvaged and remembered.

Erik Otto considers himself a process artist and often, during the act of scavenging for materials, he develops his ideas. “I meditate and develop the concepts for the work I am about to create largely based on what I find. I often leave the initial stages of my work open and uncertain while intuitively working out a resolution that will decide its final outcome based on the suggestive qualities of the medium and materials at hand.”

His artwork and installations incorporate abstract and illustrative symbols and scenes with undercurrents of destruction. Themes of repetition, beauty, and devastation appeared in Otto’s work prior to his residency and continue to be central threads during his time at the Dump. Otto has only grown more compelled to find ways of visually depicting the never-ending cycle of waste.



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