Helping Artists While Helping the Environment

…..an artist in residence program that also helps the environment.

     Artists in residence programs have been proliferating,  and are very successful  because not only do they help the artists,  they can generate a body of work and art programs  related to a company’s activity.

A couple of years ago (December 2014), I featured an article about three artist in residence programs – Kohler, CERN, and the Recology Program.  I thought it was time to revisit the Recology program because it has a positive influence on not only providing artists with support and inspiration, but it is also going far to help recycling efforts in the San Francisco Bay area that ultimately are helping to restore the environment.  It is a truly innovative and visionary art program.

Recology is a recycling and waste disposal company in San Francisco. The Artist and Residence program has been providing  Bay Area artists with access to discarded materials, a stipend, and a large studio space at the Recology San Francisco Transfer Station.  By supporting artists who work with recycled materials, Recology hopes to encourage people to conserve natural resources and promote new ways of thinking about art and the environment.

The Beginnings of the Program

Jo Hanson, creator of the Artist in Residence program.

The Artist in Residence Program at Recology was established in 1990 at the same time that recycling was being implemented in the city and county of San Francisco.  Part of the  city’s plan was to design an education program to promote recycling and resource conservation. The SWMP and Recology San Francisco (then known as San Francisco Sanitary Fill Company) worked together to create informational ads and brochures about recycling, develop classroom presentations, and organize tours of recycling plants.

The goal was to teach people how to use curbside recycling bins and to encourage source reduction in order to promote a general awareness of how recycling helps protect the environment. Conceived by Jo Hanson, the Artist in Residence Program was the most innovative element of the education plan and the first program of its kind in the United States.  In the late 1980s Hanson suggested to Recology and the City of San Francisco that they develop an artist-in-residence program at the city dump which would offer studio space and stipends for emerging and established artists to create artwork from the waste stream and raise public awareness about environmental issues. Now more than twenty years later, the Artist in Residence Program has been nationally recognized and awarded, and countless artists, children, and adults have benefited from Jo Hanson’s vision.

One of the Artist in Residence for Fall 2017, Rodney Ewing

Jo was a guiding force for the program and served as a member of the program’s board from 1990 until she died in March, 2007.   The program has continued to expand and add new features, and since 1990, over 120 professional artists and 30 student artists have completed residencies. The studio is located at the San Francisco Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center (Recology San Francisco), a 47-acre facility that includes the trash transfer station (where trash goes before being sent to landfill), the Household Hazardous Waste Facility, the Organics Annex, the Public Disposal and Recycling Area (“The Dump”), and other recycling areas.  The facility is also the site for a three-acre sculpture garden containing work by former artists-in-residence.

by Cybele Lyle, 2017 artist in residence

The program has had four goals:

  • To encourage the reuse of materials
  • To support Bay Area artists by providing access to the wealth of materials available at the public dump
  • To encourage children and adults to think about their own consumption practices
  • To teach the public how to recycle and compost through classroom lessons that explain the city’s three-cart (recycling, composting, trash) system
Beth Krebs

As part of the program, artists speak to elementary school classes and adult tour groups about their experience of working with recycled materials, and when their residency is completed, the company hosts a three-day exhibition and reception to show the work they have completed.

Artists make three pieces of art for the company’s permanent art collection, and leave art created during the residency with the company for the next twelve months for exhibitions at off-site venues.  Current artists that completed their residencies in May are Cybele Lyle, Carrie Hott and Nathan Bryne.  Upcoming artists for 2017 include:  Rodney Ewing, Cathy Lu, Erik Scollon, and Beth Krebs.

The Sculpture Garden and Gardener in Residence Project

An experiment in biodiversity, Wild Apples for Jo is a bed of apple trees grown from seed. The garden installation is dedicated to the memory of Artist in Residence Program founder Jo Hanson and created by Susan Leibovitz Steinman

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The Sculpture Garden  is a private, three-acre facility that includes more than 35 sculptures made by former artists-in-residence, with new pieces added each year.  Each facility tour includes a visit to the garden. In 1992, under the direction and design of  Susan Leibovitz Steinman, Recology San Francisco built the sculpture garden on a hill overlooking San Francisco Bay. The land functions as a buffer between the SF Transfer Station and the adjacent residential neighborhood, known as Little Hollywood. It was previously a field of ivy and ice plant.

The garden path is made from recycled concrete salvaged from the Embarcadero Freeway when it was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Bricks that line the path came from a building on Mission Street, and many of the plants in the garden were rescued from the garbage and brought back to life using Recology compost.

The goal of the Gardener in Residence Program (GIR) at Recology San Francisco is to bring awareness to the importance of native plant restoration, water conservation, and the value of compost as a soil amendment. The focus has been on  educating the public about sustainable landscape design techniques —  essential for reducing water useage and attracting native wildlife, such as bees and butterflies. Using the garden as a platform for educational outreach it is meant to encourage dialogue about these environmental issues.

The program provides experienced local gardeners and landscape designers with access to the Recology Sculpture Garden for site specific projects. In conjunction with Recology staff, the gardener-in-residence determines the appropriate areas for development within the three-acre sculpture garden, and will design and execute their plan by working hands-on in the garden. Projects are to incorporate drought-tolerant plantings, effective use of mulch and compost, and native plants.

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For more information, contact people for the Recology program are:
Deborah Munk: (415) 330-1415
Micah Gibson: (415) 330-1414
Sharon Spain: (415) 330-0747
Felisia Castaneda: (415) 330-9943
The mailing address is:  Artist in Residence Program, 501 Tunnel Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94134

The Recology website for the Artist in Residence Program is https://www.recology.com/recology-san-francisco/artist-in-residence-program/

Information on this and nearly 700 other corporate art programs and collections are included in the 2017 edition of the International Directory of Corporate Art Collections here.

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Can Art Change the World?

How art and artists can transform the world.

One of the most popular new works of art to emerge in recent weeks is the bronze Fearless Girl sculpture by Kristen Visval that has rapidly become a symbol and rallying point for the women’s movement.

It was placed on March 8 in Wall Street at the intersection of Broadway and Morris streets, to draw attention to gender inequality and the pay gap in the corporate world. The sculpture – which became an instant tourist draw, and has been seen by thousands of visitors to New York since it was installed — had been due to be removed on Sunday.

Now New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the sculpture will stay in place at least until March next year.  The statue was “standing up to fear, standing up to power, being able to find in yourself the strength to do what’s right”, he added. “She is inspiring everyone at a moment when we need inspiration.”

The art work was commissioned by asset managers State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), who have stated that one in four of the 3,000 largest traded US companies did not have even one woman on their board and the company has said that the girl represented the future.

But this young girl has had a far wider and unexpected impact. It is being recognized as a symbol of the women’s movement and can be seen on many levels to represent the strength and courage of women around the world. Fearless Girl is something all women of any age, shape, color or creed can relate to.

The sculpture has been created by Kristen Visbal, an American sculptor who was born in Uraguay, and who now lives and works in Lewes, Delaware. She specializes in lost-wax casting in bronze. She attended the University of Arizona in Tucson. Her latest creation, Fearless Girl, is a 50-inch high (1,300 mm) bronze, installed on the Bowling Green in Manhattan’s Financial District.

According to Visbal, “The young girl says soft and sensitive equals strong and capable — The piece is pungent with Girl Power!”

In a March 8 press release she stated that “All women should relate to this work,” she wrote. “It should inspire the young to dream as if anything were possible and simultaneously encourage today’s working woman to hold her ground, no matter what challenges may come barreling down the pike.”

The piece was a collaboration with State Street Global Advisors and McCann New York in celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8, and Women’s History Month.

The Charging Bull sculpture was originally guerrilla art by Italian-born artist Arturo Di Modica. Installed in 1989, the bronze was meant to represent the “strength and power of the American people” in response to the market crash in 1987. But it become a popular attraction and was allowed to stay.

The impact of the Fearless Girl sculpture, and one that has not escaped anyone that sees it, lies in the fact that in spite of the confrontation by the iconic bull of Wall Street, the young girl braces herself and defiantly stands firm. As she faces off against the bull, she has become a potent symbol for the awakening strength in today’s international woman”s movement.

However, in an article on Artnet, a darker view of the story behind the sculpture is described.

In contrast, Fearless Girl, created by artist Kristen Visbal, is a carefully calculated play—some say a publicity stunt—by financial firm State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) and advertising firm McCann New York. As Nick Pinto put it at the Village Voice: “Too Bad That Statue of a Girl Staring Down the Wall Street Bull Is a PR Stunt by Wall Street Patriarchs.”

“As such, the work’s pro-women message is a bit tainted. Both companies are predominantly run by men: Hyperallergic crunched the numbers and found McCann’s leadership was only 27 percent female. SSGA was even worse at just 18 percent. The gender gap, the very thing The Fearless Girl appears to be fighting, is alive and well at the companies that brought her into being. “Could there possibly be anything more patronizing,” asked Hyperallergic’s Jillian Steinhauer, “than two massive, male-dominated capitalist companies installing a branded statue of the most conceivably non-threatening version of womankind in supposed honor of a day devoted to women’s equality that was founded by the Socialist Party?”

(See the complete Artnet article https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/fearless-girl-wall-street-art-installation-extended-904112?utm_campaign=artnetnews&utm_source=032817daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=from_&utm_term=artnet%20News%20-%20European%20List%20Only )

In my opinion however, it shows that art has a great impact and can change the world, sometimes in totally unexpected ways!

This non-threatening but courageous little girl has become a potent symbol for the women’s movement as it makes its own statement about the strength and courage of women in the face of aggression — no matter what the original intent was of the firm that commissioned it.

You can never predict how art may transform the world !

see other articles at:  Artnet

https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/fearless-girl-wall-street-art-installation-extended-904112?utm_campaign=artnetnews&utm_source=032817daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=from_&utm_term=artnet%20News%20-%20European%20List%20Only

From the Cape Gazette, by Chris Flood, March 8, 2017.

http://www.capegazette.com/article/lewes%E2%80%99-kristen-visbal-creates-fearless-girl/128311

Fearless Girl was modeled and cast in two months, a process which typically takes six to eight months. The sculpture was cast in bronze at New Arts Foundry of Baltimore, Md.

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A Marriage of Art and Science

Artists and scientists exchanging ideas

Cosmic Song is a work of art and cosmic ray detector embedded in the floor of the Visitors entrance – Building 33, at CERN and was made in collaboration with the CERN workshops in 1987. It lights up with the constant rain of cosmic ray particles from outer space as visitors stand on the sculpture. The piece is made by the French artist Serge Moro

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has developed three unusual artist-in-residence programs that encourage the exchange of creative ideas between artists and scientists.  It is hoped that the ground-breaking program, and the  technology that explores the fundamental secrets of the universe can be a new force for human creativity.

Artists of all disciplines work as artists in residence at the laboratory, where they can both be inspired by the science and inspire the scientists to make new discoveries. While protons collide in the machinery at unimaginable speeds and perhaps reveal some of the secrets of the universe, the artists and scientists “collide” in ways that may help make some of these secrets more understandable to the human imagination. With this initiative, the chasm between the arts and the sciences may finally be bridged.

The laboratory, located in Geneva, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centers for scientific research in the world.

ATLAS mural at CERN by Josef Kristofoletti

COLLIDE

The first residency program, called Collide @ CERN, was launched in 2011, and combines a maintenance grant and prize money for the selected artist. The program “collides” the imaginations of artists with the minds of scientists to create new work.

The arts at CERN comes under the auspices of CERN’s Cultural Policy for Engaging with the Arts, Great Arts for Great Science.  The program is the leading art and science program that promotes a dialogue between artists and particle physics. It stimulates the creation of new expert knowledge in the arts through a connection with fundamental science. COLLIDE gives artists the opportunity to encounter the multi-dimensional world of particle physics.

Artists can apply online for the three-month residency and stipend of €10,000 that comes with the chance to be mentored by the CERN scientists and given a unique opportunity to experience the cutting edge of physics from the inside.

By forming partnerships with leading international arts organisations, CERN is allowing the “collision” to happen. Bill Fontana is the artist in residence, and the project’s creative patrons include Swiss architect Jacques Herzog, German photographer Andreas Gursky, British sculptor Antony Gormley, British musician Brian Eno, Dutch wildlife artist Frans Lanting and Japanese artist Mariko Mori.

The COLLIDE International Award started as Prix Ars Electronica Collide @ CERN, in a three-year partnership (2011-2014) with Ars Electronica. It was funded by private sponsors, with the prize money supported by our cultural partner at the time, Ars Electronica, Linz. In 2015, the partnership carried on for one more year with COLLIDE Ars Electronica Award. As of 2016 the COLLIDE International Award is part of The COLLIDE CERN FACT Framework Partnership 2016-2018, in collaboration with FACT, The Foundation for Arts and Creative Technology in Liverpool, UK.

Gayle Hermick’s sculpture Wandering the Immeasurable, at the CERN site in Switzerland. (Photo Guillaume, Jeanneret, CERN).

ACCELERATE

CERN’s second art program ACCELERATE, is the country-specific, one-month artists residency award. This award is for artists who have never spent time in a science laboratory before, and is the sister of CERN’s flagship residency programme, COLLIDE.

Every year, the ministries or foundations, from two different countries, fund a different artistic domain to participate in the ACCELERATE Awards. The winners receive a stipend of 5,000 CHF for their one-month residency at CERN, and a budget covers accommodation, subsistence and travel costs. The awards are made following open calls in each country, and the jury is made up of the cultural partners as well as representatives from Arts at CERN, including scientists from CERN.

The 2016 awards were

ACCELERATE Lithuania In collaboration with Rupert, and

ACCELERATE UAE – Supported by The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, ADMAF.

The 2017 awards are

ACCELERATE Croatia Award In collaboration with Kontejner, and

ACCELERATE Korea Award In collaboration with ARKO

On 20 May 2005, the well-known Swiss artist Gianni Motti went down into the LHC tunnel and walked around the 27 kilometres of the underground ring at an average, unaccelerated pace of 5 kph. This was an artistic performance, aimed at drawing a parallel between the fantastic speed of the beams produced by the future accelerator and the leisurely stroll of a human. The artist, who originally hails from Lombardy, was accompanied by cameraman Ivo Zanetti, who filmed the event from start to finish, and CERN physicist Jean-Pierre Merlo.

GUEST ARTISTS

CERN’s third residency program is Guest Artists. Initiated in 2016, artists with an extensive internationally recognized career, are invited to visit CERN for a short period, to learn about what the laboratory offers to arts and creativity, from an interdisciplinary approach.

James Brindle was awarded Honorary Mention of Collide International in 2016. He is a British writer, artist, publisher and technologist, currently based in Athens. His work covers the intersection of literature, culture and the network. His current research, on the impact of information technologies into knowledge, brought him to CERN.

Tomás Saraceno was the first Guest Artist of the year. His work is an ongoing research, informed by the worlds of art, architecture, natural sciences, astrophysics and engineering. During the past decade, he has initiated collaborations with scientific institutions that have included the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Max Planck Institute, the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, and institutions of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, among them Imperial College and the Natural History Museum London. He came to CERN to discuss ideas in cosmology and particle physics with scientists.

Pascal Dusapin, from France is interested in a diverse variety of fields, from morphogenesis to philosophy, from photography, to architecture, to the theatre of Samuel Beckett, to Flaubert’s work, among others. The French musician and composer Pascal Dusapin will be visiting CERN on 21-22 November for deep exploration in high energy physics.

More information about the CERN program is available from

Monica Bello, Head of Arts at Monica.Bello@CERN.ch  and

Julian Calo, Coordinator of Arts at  Julian.Calo@CERN.ch

CERN’s Advisory Board includes

Andrea Bellini – Director of Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève

Frédérick Bordry – Director of Accelerators and Technology CERN

Assoc. Prof. Bilge Demirköz at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.

Ariane Koek – Founder and former Head of Arts@CERN

Laurent Le Bon – President of Picasso Museum in Paris

CERN Particle Accelerator

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