Hundreds of people attended the GLEAN art show opening on Friday, August 3 to see what five local artists created out of items they salvaged from the trash.
Eduardo Cruz Torres, Carolyn Hazel Drake, Liz Grotyohann, Benjamin Mefford and Brittany Rudolf participated in GLEAN, an annual program that offers a stipend to local artists to make art with the materials they find digging around at the Metro Central transfer station in Northwest Portland. Their work will be on exhibit at the Furthermore Gallery in Northeast Portland through Aug. 25.
Now in its eighth year, GLEAN was created to help raise awareness about our consumption habits and inspire new ways of looking at trash as a resource. The program is a partnership between Metro, the government that manages the greater Portland area's garbage and recycling system; Recology, a company that manages garbage and recycling facilities; and crackedpots, a local environmental arts nonprofit. Artists are selected each year by a jury of arts and environmental professionals.
Metro Councilor Craig Dirksen, a champion of the GLEAN program for several years, sees it as an opportunity for people to think about the resources they throw away.
Vote for the People's Choice Award
People who attend the GLEAN exhibition are invited to nominate their favorite work by each artist and describe what caught their eye and why.
Find the show at the Furthermore Gallery in the Bison Building, 421 Northeast 10th Ave., Portland
The exhibit is open noon to 5:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday through Aug. 25.
Results of the People’s Choice Awards will be announced in the fall.
“There’s an old saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
Dirksen selected a piece by each artist to exhibit for the public to see at the Metro Regional Center in Northeast Portland over the next two years.
“This year was so amazing that it was really hard to choose,” he said.
Artist Shu-ju Wang served as a jurist on the artist selection committee and was struck by the creative process GLEAN artists embark on.
“When most artists are creating new work, they think about what materials they want to use and they go out and procure it,” Wang said. “Here, that's not what happens. They're exposed to the materials and then think, ‘What can I do with this?’ It's a very different process.”
Wang hopes to apply for the residency herself sometime.
Artist Guerry Dean has attended almost every GLEAN art show, and thinks this year’s exhibit is exceptional.
“The level of detail, the skillful expertise of execution...you look closely and it's like, ‘my gosh,’ — the threading work, the metal engravings, the knots or some of the carving. The level of detail is just phenomenal.”
Dean appreciated hearing statements from the artists and was inspired by how collaborative the GLEAN program has been for them.
“The creative process is usually a solo one, but they were able to experience a sense of community and collaboration,” Dean said. “I'm really going to make a point of pursuing connections with other artists. Because I think that's where a lot of the energy comes from.”
People who attend the GLEAN exhibition are invited to nominate their favorite work by each artist for a People's Choice Award and describe what caught their eye and why.
Ballots are available through Aug. 25. Results of the People’s Choice Awards will be announced in the fall.